Search Term: " Defici "
Prevent the number one cause of premature death by simply takingvitamin C
November 16, 2018 09:51 AM
According to the data, it's been estimated that as many as half of all premature deaths are preventable, moreover that poor nutritional intake is at the core of the problem. One such nutritional deficit that could lower the number of premature deaths is the deficit of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a well-known immune system booster. However, it also has an important role to fulfill when it comes to cardiovascular health. The journal of the American College of Nutrition recently attests to this fact. The journal reported findings that agreed that the use of vitamin C reduced the incidence of cardiac disease. The findings were based on a study of over 100 men, many of whom were smokers. Those given the highest dosage of vitamin C slashed their risk for cardiac complications by more than half. Danish research further augments this aspect of vitamin C. Data pools acquired from 100,000+ Danes showed high vitamin C concentrations among those who regularly consumed a large array of fruits and vegetables. This higher level was auspiciously linked with a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.
"The reality is that an inexpensive vitamin supplement could reduce the rate of coronary heart disease but mainstream medicine is so deeply entrenched in pharmaceutical dogma, the idea that nutrients can prevent disease is downright blasphemous."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-12-prevent-number-one-cause-of-premature-death-vitamin-c.html
A flavonoid found in guava and Osage orange has antioxidant properties that can reduce inflammation and improve “neurological deficits”
January 23, 2018 07:59 AM
There was a study conducted at the Harbin Medical University in China that found that Morin, a flavanoid in guava and osage oranges could lessen inflamation and increase neurological deficits. It also has anti inflamation properties. In labratory mice this flavanoid seemed to reduce inflamation and restored the ability to walk, talk ( which is strange for a labratory mouse.), decreased mental function issues, and decreased loss of balance, and a weakness in the arms and legs. Essentially the study found that the flavanoid morin helped to counter act certain types of strokes, to increase motor functions to the patient.
"A person who smokes, drinks excessive amounts of alcohol, uses cocaine or methamphetamines, is overweight, or has diabetes is at risk of developing cerebral ischemia."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-01-21-a-flavonoid-found-in-guava-and-osage-orange-antioxidant-properties.html
Powerful Health Benefits of Pomegranate
The abundant skinned seedy fruit, Pomegranate offers a variety of health, beauty and clinical benefits. Apart from eating the food raw, people even use pomegranate juice that helps both skin and health in some ways. Pomegranate is one of the healthy foods and should be included in the regular diet. The peel of the fruit contains the highest amount of antioxidants that are released when Pomegranate is squeezed. Drinking the juice of the fruit helps assimilate all the nutrients by the body. Experts say that one glass of pomegranate juice offers forty percent of the routine requirement of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and folic acids as well. However, one should not sweeten the juice as sugar is inflammatory and counteract the health benefits of the juice.
Pomegranate juice is recommended for pregnant women because it enables the healthy flow of blood. It is even crucial for the overall development of the fetus as well. The content of potassium in pomegranate juice prevents leg cramps. The highlight is pomegranate benefits health in many ways. The juice is considered to be a secret of vibrant skin. The juice helps reduce wrinkles on the face that are a result of continuous exposure to the sun. The juice works wonder for all types of skin and penetrates easily. The fruit helps in cell regeneration and quickens the course of wound healing. Pomegranate is known to improve the texture of skin by offering strength to the skin. Drinking a glass of pomegranate juice daily helps not just the skin but most of the organs of the body.
How to eat to get lean
January 04, 2017 07:59 AM
Do you love food but want to lose some inches off your waistline? Let me tell you, this is the article for you. Whether you want to lose fat or build muscle, this article will provide you some insight as to how to accomplish your goals without sacrificing your love of food.
"We’re going to shoot it straight: Cutting calories is going to really suck for the entire first week."
Vitamins And Minerals
November 10, 2016 05:04 PM
Due to the population's inclination to eat fancy and fattier foods that are sparse in nutrients, many people find themselves lacking in iron. This leads to many health problems, a majority of which are related to the blood and blood vessels. Various juices could help replenish the body's supply of iron, especially blueberry juice, tart cherry juice, cranberry juice, and litchi juice.
"Due to the Deficient amount of this mineral in the human body, there are hoards of body troubles that are always hovering to influence the humans. In this too, a majority of them relate to the blood and the blood vessels of the humans."
Thyroid Health and Selenium
Selenium is nature’s best secret. It is a nutrient that when used in the correct amounts in your food, can make huge and exciting changes. However, the body only needs small amounts of this mineral, but it has huge benefits on one’s health. It protects us against many health problems that are associated with the aging process such as osteoarthritis and cancer. A certain amount of this mineral is required in order to protect the body from deadly viruses and also to aid in healthy thyroid functioning.
Selenium Deficiency frequently goes untreated simply because it does not show any noticeable symptoms. If the levels of selenium are low, the thyroid will have to work extra hard to manufacture its hormones and the body will have a tough job converting those hormones to a form the cells can use. This is because selenium is a chief ingredient of the molecules necessary for the body to be able to create and use seleno-proteins (thyroid hormones).
The initial stages of low selenium levels will reduce the optimal production of the thyroid hormone in the glands. If this continues the thyroid gland becomes inflamed. Eventually, this is what leads to thyroid autoimmune problems
Problems that come with low selenium levels can be more serious when the levels of mineral, iodine, is low. Iodine is well known for its key role in thyroid health. Selenium is also important in aiding your body to recycle iodine. Low selenium levels coupled with low iodine levels can lead to thyroid imbalance
An enlarged thyroid is known as goiter. This is one of the serious forms of thyroid imbalance. Most individuals diagnosed with goiter usually have low iodine levels, however research has also shown that the patient also have low levels of selenium. Therefore, it is very important to treat both Deficits so as to re-establish thyroid stability
Doctors readily admit that there is no any specified dose of selenium required for better functioning of the thyroid. The one thing they agree on is that optimizing selenium intake aids in general health.
How Important Is It To Take A Trace Mineral Supplement And Why?
September 07, 2014 05:38 PM
What is Trace Minerals
Trace minerals are the essential minerals for proper functioning of our bodies. Trace minerals are zinc, calcium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, selenium, etc., the best way to get these minerals is through a diet rich in nutrients. The modern busy lifestyle prevents us from obtaining these minerals, also modern diets, have led to a Deficiency in some of the most essential minerals. That is why a proper trace mineral supplementation is necessary for optimal health.
Most important trace minerals are:
Zinc is a mineral found in meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood. The recommended daily intake for adult males is 11 mg and 8 mg for female. Zinc Deficiency leads to slow recovery of injuries, diarrhea in children, stunted growth; it may disrupt the thyroid functioning, low levels of testosterone. Zinc is necessary for the immune system, it cures the common cold faster, and it is used for Attention Deficit disorder, Down syndrome, colitis and many other illnesses.
Copper is a mineral mostly found in meat, and many foods we already intake. The recommended daily intake of copper is only 2 mg. The National center for biotechnology information warns about recent studies who found copper Deficiency. Copper Deficiency leads to Menkes' syndrome, anemia, and neutropenia.
Iodine - 3. 40% of the world population is at risk of iodine Deficiency. The use of iodine is at risk of extinction because of using iodine in salt. Many people do not have the proper nutrition to obtain the daily need of iodine. Iodine Deficiency leads to hyperthyroidism, enlargement of the thyroid gland, miscarriages in pregnancy, preterm delivery of babies, and to permanent mental damage in babies. Iodine is found in meat, dairy products, soy, eggs, milk, and ice cream.
Manganese is a mineral responsible for blood clotting, sex hormones, and it forms the connective tissue. Manganese is found in the bones, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal, and pituitary glands. According to the University of Maryland, 37% of the Americans are at risk of manganese Deficiency, and do not take the daily recommended intake of manganese. Manganese Deficiency changes the fat metabolism; it causes bone deformities, skin rash, increases calcium in blood, and causes many other symptoms, which lead to serious medical problems. Manganese is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains.
Chromium is found in meat, whole grain, some fruits, but these foods provide a very small amount of chromium in the body. The recommended daily intake of chromium is 50-200 mg a day and food provides 2 mg per serving. The elder are at a higher risk of chromium Deficiency. Research has found that chromium Deficiency leads to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, and increased chromium intake has fixed diabetes symptoms in patients.
Who is at risk of trace mineral Deficiency?
Vegetarians are at a higher risk of mineral Deficiency as most of the sources of these minerals are coming from meat. Vegetarians should consider taking trace mineral supplementation. We need a very small amount of minerals for proper functioning of our bodies, still we have a mineral Deficiency which leads to many illnesses, improper functioning in the body. The mineral Deficiency has led to lower life span in humans. Our ancestors lived longer because they ate home cooked food, rich in the most important nutrients. Daily trace mineral supplementation is essential for returning our health and immune system on the right track. That is why we all need proper trace mineral supplementation to compensate for the low levels of minerals.
Ginkgo Biloba A Modular Solution To Boosting Memory.
August 04, 2014 08:16 PM
Memory loss occurs when one loses the ability to remember information and events that you would normally be able to recall. It is usually distressing for the person affected and the family members.
Gingko Biloba Benefits
Ginkgo biloba is effective for memory aid as it improves blood flow to the brain. It can help with memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It helps to prevent the progression of dementia symptoms. It also helps in the improvement in cognitive function. Taking ginkgo biloba leaf extract by mouth seems to improve thinking skills in elderly people with mild moderate age related memory loss or thinking problems. It improves short-term visual memory and speed of mental processing in non-demented people with age related memory loss and it can improve memory and speed of mental processing in people without memory loss.
Ingredients of Gingko Biloba
The active ingredients in ginkgo biloba are ginkgolides, bilobalides and flavonoids. It works by delaying the symptoms of dementia. Adding ginkgo biloba supplements may help battle cognitive impairments and memory loss associated with dementia since it encourages the growth and development of neural stem cells. It protects the neurons from oxidative damage by potentially preventing the progression of tissue generation in patients suffering from dementia. Ginkgo biloba extracts promotes growth in brain regions.
Due to its benefit of boosting memory, most doctors prescribe ginkgo biloba as the treatment choice for dementia and for age related memory dysfunction. It has been approved for symptomatic treatment of Deficits in memory impairment, concentration difficulties and depression from organic brain disease. In conclusion, it is evident that ginkgo biloba extracts helps to stabilize and improve memory loss in several measures of social functioning and cognitive functioning in mixed or vascular dementia patients and Alzheimer's Disease. It might also improve memory and speed of mental processing in people without memory loss.
Does Camu Camu Fruit Have Healing Properties?
April 02, 2014 09:10 PM
What is a camu camu
Inside a rainforest you will discover these types of bushes of which increase within the Rain forest avalanche. The actual fruit obtain from canoes as well as watercraft after that eaten fresh, dried or made into centred fruit juice. Some other part of these berries may be used as well as ingested in various means.
Camu Camu contents and benefits
The actual Camu Camu fruit boosts the manufacturing involving serotonin, the hormone that makes your senses beneficial. The higher level of vitamin G involving any vegetable that helps to improve your entire metabolic rate. There may be exploration evidence of which implies that the fruit features anti-oxidative as well as anti-inflammatory. In addition, it functions as anti-aging method. The actual large antioxidant part of this Camu Camu berry makes a strong compound with healthier skin care solutions. You will discover scientific studies that it has an anti cancer properties. The actual Camu will be adapted straight into makeup as well as healthy skin care because hugely rejuvenative talents.
On the list of crucial ingredients for you to locate a wholesome life is having the necessary every day level of Nutritional G. Nutritional G is surely an ascorbic p, is normal water-soluble as well as has a critical role inside our each day eating plan. Contrary to almost all mammals, people are not able to by natural means develop Nutritional G consequently, we should acquire the idea inside our eating plan. The actual role of which Nutritional G does eat the body is always to synthesize collagen, and that is a significant structural component of tendons, ligaments, arteries and, as well as navicular bone. Nutritional G is significant since it helps to merge this ingredient component of this neurotransmitter, norepinphrine. Neurotransmitters usually are crucial for you to mind perform. Among other items additionally, it is related to help with our blood cholesterol levels plus the regularity involving gall stones. The word antioxidant goes in conjunction having Nutritional G. Antioxidants are critical within defending one's body coming from harmful free of charge radicals.
The actual Deficit involving Nutritional G in every day eating plan have been recognized for countless years for you to result in this generally dangerous illness involving scurvy. Any insufficient Nutritional G is even related to heart conditions. Nutritional G Deficit in addition has been assigned to, cerebrovascular event, most cancers, cataracts, and in many cases guide toxicity.
Final thoughts, include the ability from the Camu Camu fresh fruits antioxidant potency for you to fight free of charge radicals as well as re-balance these physiques systems. Combined with the berries, Camu Camu is easily transforming into a recognized super fruit, which includes many reasons as well as prices regarding man well being.
Why Trace Minerals are Vital to Our Body?
January 22, 2014 10:20 AM
Minerals in our body
Majority, if not all of the non-organic elements or minerals are present in the human body. Some are vital in our diet and can be derived from the food that we eat. Minerals are categorized into macro/major minerals and the micro/trace minerals.
These minerals serve as catalysts for different biological functions that occur in the body such as transmission of messages in our nervous system or muscle response. Always remember that these minerals are vital factors for good health, particularly with the development of blood cells and bones.
The Facts About Herb Dopa Mucuna
December 15, 2013 05:17 PM
What is Herb Dopa Mucuna?
Dopa Mucuna has become used as an aphrodisiac. Which is still used to raise and help libido in both women and men. However it's an alternative treatment peculiarity now is extremely popular used as it provides potential and valuable results in managing Parkinson along with conditions. Pots include seeds called velvet beans or mucuna beans, these are glowing brown or black. Dopa Mucuna is generally be able to recover soil fertility and decrease weed infestation. In society medicine seeds can be used healing different conditions and disease. Mucuna beans have been used as a coffee alternate (ground and roasted) in Brazil, Central America, and other countries.
The primary acts of the plant are following :
You've surely would not heard about L-Dopa, except if you are associated with somebody who carries body builder or Parkinson's disease, you might not be familiar with about it. L-Dopa is a precursor to dopamine. The seeds of Mucuna bean is rich in lipids, protein, ash, dietary fiber, minerals, and carbohydrates. Moreover they are very high in sterols, alkaloids, and saponins. Mucuna seeds (along with the seeds of every Mucuna varieties) include high level of L-dopa is an immediate precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
How does it works?
Low dopamine ranges are related to psychosis, addiction, schizophrenia, depression, and Attention Deficit Disorder. Because dopamine itself is unable to move the blood-brain barrier, it is transferred in a precursor condition is an outline that causes the brain to generate dopamine. L-Dopa is simply like a precursor. L-Dopa is located to work in improving concentrate, relieving depressive disorders, and managing Parkinson's Disease.
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
December 04, 2013 06:43 AM
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
Majority of people consider evening primrose oil as one of the major miraculous discoveries within preventive care after Vitamin C. This oil consists a compound called phenylalanine that can assist with pain relief and has been applied increasingly with remedying headaches. Its therapeutic and preventive features are many hence making it a regular proposal from a big number of herbalists.
10 health benefits:1- GLA Deficiency
Evening primrose oil has a lot of fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is very crucial for general operation of the body.
2- Heart Health
Studies revealed that utilizing of evening primrose oil on daily basis can assist in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and safeguard against the coronary artery disease thus minimizing the capability of heart attacks and diseases.
3- Menstrual Pain
The oil is normally used in relieving distress that is normally related with menstrual signs. Majority of women around the world get relief by applying evening primrose oil.
Diabetics occasionally get challenges in producing GLA hence evening primrose oil is an effective supplement to assist them. Studies revealed that this oil can also safeguard people from diabetic neuropathy which is a nerve condition that often affects diabetics.
5- Skin Health
Evening primrose oil is considered as an effective remedy for eczema and other skin disorders due to GLA and other essential fatty acids that are vital for skin health.
6- Anti-Inflammatory & Discomfort Reliever
Evening primrose oil is referred to contain anti-inflammatory features and can assist to ease symptoms of chest discomfort and rheumatoid.
7- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Studies revealed that kids suffering from ADHD got relieved after taking evening primrose oil.
8- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Utilizing evening primrose oil with quality fish oil is an effective therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.
9- Helps to Counter Impotence & InfertilityEvening primrose oil can stimulate blood flow, thus it helps in solving one of the key causes of male impotence. When taken for some time, it assists in preventing blood vessels to become narrow as a result of cholesterol.
10- Helping with Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The GLA prompts the brain to make a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E that can operate to resist withdrawal symptoms.
Benefits of wild yam to women
December 21, 2012 11:17 AM
Wild yam which is also known as Dioscorea villosa has been used for a very long time to help women deal with various health issues especially those associated with menstrual cycles. There are various forms in which this herb can be taken for example capsules and creams. Wild yam is so popular among women due to the progesterone properties that it carries. This herb contains an ingredient diosgenin which is converted in the body to produce progesterone.
Progesterone plays a very crucial role in a woman's body. Some of the roles include;
This hormone is known to produce mucus which protects the vaginal area from infections. When there are higher levels of progesterone in the blood, women will experience a spike in their libido. Supplementing with progesterone is mostly beneficial after menopause when most women experience reduced intimate desires. Progesterone plays a major role during menstruation. It prepares the endothelium for fertilization. If fertilization does not happen, the levels of progesterone will fall down resulting in menstrual periods.
Wild yam can help easy PMS
Women who experience painful cramps after menstruation could really benefit from progesterone supplements. With its antispasmotic properties, the progesterone may help to relax the muscles hence reducing the amount of pain experienced. Progesterone may also help to ease labor pains.
Wild Yam Is A Natural Progesterone
Women who are undergoing menopause may also want to use wild yam. This herb helps to restore hormonal balance thus ensuring that a woman does not face the usual hot flashes and sweating at night. Having hormonal imbalances could really deny you the comfort in life. Hormones such as progesterone which are very crucial for a woman's body processes should always be checked. Progesterone supplements are most appropriate when you are experiencing progesterone Deficit. Wild yam supplement comes in the form of capsules or creams. If it comes combined with other ingredients, ensure that all the ingredients are safe for your body.
What Is Kava Root?
December 19, 2012 03:53 PM
Kava root or piper methysticum is a kind of shrub that can be found all throughout the South Pacific islands. Locally called as kava kava, this plant is a close relative of black pepper. Its shrubs have woody roots or rhizomes that contain medicinal properties. People in the South Pacific islands use kava mainly during traditional ceremonies and they have been using this herb as medicine for centuries already.
Traditionally, kava is prepared as a tea or an intoxicating ceremonial beverage. But nowadays, it now comes into several forms such as capsules, extract forms, liquids, tablets, and even topical creams. One of the main benefits of kava is that it promotes relaxation.
Calming effects of kava
Its calming effects are due to a substance called kavalactone. It works almost exactly like a mild sedative and muscle tension reliever. Taking supplements with kava root induces sleep without the hangover effects. Because of that, kava root can help a person sleep easier.
Additionally, the quality of the sleep is also improved. Kava can also elevate the mood of a person promoting the sense of well-being and satisfaction. Kavalactone has calming effects as it can interfere with the brain activity by slightly stimulating the brain waves which eventually make people feel better. Kava is definitely not addictive but its effects may decrease with regular use.
The calming effects of kava root can relieve anxiety, restlessness and some other stress-related symptoms like muscle tension and spasm. Another active compound that naturally occurs in kava is the flavokawain B which is known as a cancer-fighting property. Other potential benefits of kava root include treatment for ADHD or attention Deficit disorder, depression and migraine. When applied topically, kava creams and lotions hastens the healing ability of the skin and treat several skin diseases like leprosy.
If taken improperly, kava supplements can only bring about adversarial effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, gastrointestinal issues and tremors.
Nevertheless, kava can still be very beneficial most especially if taken properly.
Health benefits of GABA
October 07, 2012 05:17 PM
Gaba - Gamma-Amino butyric Acid
GABA derived from its chemical name, Gamma-Amino butyric Acid is an amino acid and a neurotransmitter. This acid is produced by the body and is responsible for transmitting information from one cell to another. Scientist claims that GABA supplements can increase the GABA level in the body and thus consequently can be used as a treatment for anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), post menstrual syndrome and hypertension.
Though GABA Deficiency is rare, depletion of GABA level in the body can occur due to toxins in the environment and other external stressors which may result to the above mentioned disorders.
Other benefit of the GABA in human nutrition apart from the curative effect is, it help people to control their weight, it also relieves pain and injuries ,help one to increase exercise tolerance, also It induces a sense of relaxation thereby reducing stress, increase memory and cognitive function and help reducing insomnia , and it is a good supplement for people with convulsive disorders.
How Does GABA Help Brain Function?
May 16, 2012 08:43 AM
Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, GABA, is a neurotransmitter found in central nervous system. It has an inhibitory action on nerve transmission and helps in regulating brain activity and function.
Healthy functioning of brain is important to achieve optimal health. In today's fast paced lifestyle, work related stress and anxiety have taken a toll on man's health. Mental stress and anxiety can cause havoc on the internal systems of the body. According to American Psychological Association, stress can affect the physical as well as mental health of a person. It impairs the brain's ability to block certain toxins and can lead to certain aging conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Stress can affect brain's normal functioning and affect intellectual abilities and memory. GABA helps in calming the stress and thereby enhancing the functioning capacity of the brain. Let us understand how does GABA help in brain function?
Role of GABA in cerebral cortex:
The nervous system comprises of neurons, brain, spinal cord and neurotransmitters. The role of neurotransmitters is to transmit nerve signals from one neuron to another or from neuron to muscle or gland cell. The most abundant neurotransmitters in cerebral cortex, Glutamate and GABA, have opposite action on the neuron cells.
Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, which results in neuron fires and sends an electrical impulse down its length. On the other hand, GABA, made from glutamate, has inhibitory action on the nerve cells and does not allow the electrical impulse to pass through the neuron. In case of Deficiency of GABA, nerve cells will fire too often and too easily, resulting in wide number of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, seizure disorders, headaches and other cognitive impairment disorders. Hence, GABA helps in stopping the transmission of nerve impulses from one neuron to another and thereby regulating brain activity. It has a calming effect on the brain.
Once the activity in the brain is regulated and cognitive abilities are restored by GABA, the person can think better and perform better. This natural tranquilizer allows your brain to function more efficiently. Studies have related many higher brain functions such as visual recognition and language comprehension with declining levels of GABA with advancing age. This results in easy firing of neurons by stimulus, slowing down processing of information in brain.
Health benefits of GABA:
According to studies, GABA plays an important role in healthy functioning of mind and body. It helps in:
1. Treating conditions like depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and epilepsy. The result is due to the calming effect of GABA on brain activity. It helps in clear thinking and better reasoning.
2. Preventing age related conditions such as cardiovascular disorder, diabetes and cancer.
3. Inducing a sense of relaxation by providing tranquilizing effect. GABA increases dopamine hormone in the body and gives a sense of euphoria. You remain happy and of course this has a positive effect on sexual system.
4. Relieving pain.
5. Promoting body building and losing extra fat.
GABA can be purchased as a supplement in the form of pill, capsule or powder form. It is a natural alternative for relieving stress and improving brain function.
What Are The Health Benefits Of DMAE?
April 26, 2012 12:57 PM
Dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE is anorganic compound that is metabolically produced by the adrenal glands, testes and the brain in small quantities. It is converted into testosterone, estrogen and cortisone by the body. It is a known fact that the liver processes DMAE into choline, but the molecule thus produced is charged and cannot break the blood-brain barrier. Studies have shown that DMAE methylated in the brain acts as the precursor for the manufacture of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the conduction of signals in the brain as well as the nervous system.
DMAE also stimulates phosphatidylcholine, a crucial part of cell membranes. However, the DMAE naturally produced by the body is sufficient only to maintain healthy brain and functions. It will not improve their functions. Though DMAE is found in fish such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines, supplementation in the pill form is important because of the practical difficulties having these foods in the right form and quantity on a daily basis to derive the benefits. DMAE supplements for oral consumption are through stores that sell health foods and groceries.
Daily consumption of DMAE in the supplement form provides a number of benefits to the body. Some of the benefits are as follows:
It helps prevent as well as treat cardiovascular problems and boost the body's immune system because of its strong antioxidant properties.It protects cells from the harmful effects of free-radicals by helping them retain the nutrients that are essential and expelling waste.As a precursor in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it supports the functioning of the brain in a number of ways. It increases a person's attention span, relieves behavioral problems and hyperactivity or attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also helpful in treating memory lapses and Alzheimer's disease.
It helps stop production of arachidonic acid which is responsible for wrinkling and aging of skin. Topical creams containing DMAE help tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.It is found to be effective in burning fat because of its involvement in the production of acetylcholine. It increases the metabolism in the body because of its thermogenic effect.It can be beneficial as an anti-inflammatory as well.It can reduce the amount of sleep required for a person by up to one hour.It can safely be used as a substitute for anabolic steroids.
Research studies have shown that consumption of 200 to 500 mg of DMAE on a daily basis is helpful in improving health. However, it is important to start with a low dosage of DMAE and then gradually increase the dosage level to the optimum level. Higher dosage can cause headaches, insomnia and muscle tension. People suffering from conditions such as schizophrenia, mental depression and epilepsy should not have DMAE supplements. Pregnant and lactating women also should not have DMAE.
Summarizing, consumption of recommended amounts of DMAE is believed to be safe. Side effects due to consumption of DMAE are rare and not generally serious. However, it is important to use high-quality supplements in order to increase DMAE levels in the body and reap the benefits.
How Does Phosphatidyl Serine Improve Your Health?
April 17, 2012 07:22 AM
Health Benefits Of Phosphatidyl Serine
Phosphatidyl serine is phospholipid that is vital to your brain functioning. The phospholipid are molecules containing both fatty acids and amino acids found in every cell in the body. Phodphatidyl Serine supplements are plant extracts that has been proven safe and effective therapeutic substance in remedying memory disorders as well as in enhancing higher brain functions. Clinical trials have shown that this vitamin supplement do strengthen your memory, increase mental acuity, increase concentration, boosts learning, enhances attention and vigilance. In addition, Phodphatidyl serine relieves depression while improving your mood and inhibits increases in cortisol induced by exercise and stress.
The supplement works by enabling your brain cells to metabolize glucose and releases it to bind with neurotransmitters which hence support learning, memory and other cognitive functions. Phodphatidyl serine enhances the cells communication in the brain through increasing the number of membrane receptor sites. It is also important to note that this natural supplement modulates the fluidity of the cell membranes which are essential in supporting the ability of brain cells to send and receive chemical communications.
Another health benefit associated with Phodphatidyl serine is its ability to restore the supply and output of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is an essential transmitter to memory and is associated in reversing aging. Further, it increases the availability of endogenous chlorine used for de novo synthesis and production. Patients diagnosed with clinical depression that have ben put under the treatment of Phodphatidyl serine have registered a remarkable improvement with their symptoms. This follows from the fact that the supplement stimulates the production of dopamine by the brain. A Deficit in dopamine in the brain has also been associated with attention Deficit disorder and hence the natural supplement of Phodphatidyl serine has demonstrated to be an effective remedy for the disorder.
Research indicates that athletes involved in weight training, endurance running and cycling can reduce muscle soreness when they use Phodphatidyl serine. The athletes on this supplement have also been reported to undergo speed recovery during their rigorous training sessions. Other benefits of the supplement include; testicular function, formation of bone matrix, heart beat coordination, cell repair and removal by the immune system and secretion of hormones by the adrenal glands.
It is vital to note that phodphatidyl serine is present in almost every cell in our body and the membrane proteins it activates are important in all these cells. However, our bodies cannot produce enough amounts of it when under stress, when there is a Deficit in necessary enzymes and metabolic cofactors, and when aged. Stress increases the demands for phospatidylserine thus depleting the available levels in the cells. On the other hand, aging not only increases the brain's requirement for phosphatidylserine but also leads to inefficiency in the digestive and metabolic functions of the body. This makes it difficult for aged people to acquire enough of it from the diet and thus it is recommended that aged people should use phosphatidyl serine supplements.
Modern diets with low fat and low cholesterol levels have been shown to be lacking in phodphotidyl serine to levels of up to 150 mg per day. A vegetarian diet on the other hand may have a Deficit of up to 250 mg per day. This Deficit in supply of Phodphatidyl serine in the diet leads to impairment of your brain's ability to form, store, process and even remember. It is vital hence to consider taking vitamin supplements with phosphatidyl serine to cater for the Deficit which may be detrimental to your health.
What Is L-Carnosine And What Does It Do?
March 30, 2012 08:28 AM
What Is L-Carnosine
L-Carnosine is basically a combination of 2 vital amino acids-L-histidine and beta-alanine. It is naturally present in the body, mainly in the muscle, and in many animals too. Carnosine can be broken down easily into the two amino acids, but it is good to know that these amino acids work much better when combined to form L-Carnosine. L-Carnosine has the remarkable ability to revitalize, that is, to make older cells younger and lengthen their life cycle. This compound is commercially available and is the only one that has the rare and distinctive ability to rejuvenate cells.
What does L-Carnosine do?
In simple language, L-carnosine is able to transform itself into so many compounds with each performing or enhancing a number of crucial body functions such as:
May bind to dangerous metal compounds to make them inactive.
Turning the resultant metal compound/carnosine into useful antioxidants which in turn can be anti-ulcer agents
Protecting and stabilizing cell membranes, keeping cells safe from dangerous free radicals
Protecting healthy cells from damage caused by radiation
Enhances blood flow to the brain
Acts like a neurotransmitter, helping messages move from one nerve to the other. This helps fight dementia, as in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and boost memory.
Blocks guanylate cyclase activation, an enzyme associated with cancer, migraine, asthma, and septic shock.
Special derivatives of carnosine can help get rid of the accumulation of sugar compounds and abnormal protein in the eye. A variety of these compounds may cause glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Carnosine works like a catalyst to boost the work of so many other compounds and nutrients.
Benefits of using L-carnosine
Although L-carnosine benefits haven't been extensively researched, according to initial studies it may help in:
Dealing with complications related to cataracts, diabetes, neuropathy, and kidney failure.
It may also help in slowing down aging in skin, minimizing wrinkles as well as breakdown of elasticity in skin.
It can help to prevent joint inflammation, atherosclerosis, and formation of cataract.
Carnosine has been known to prevent and reduce cell damage occasioned by beta amyloid-the substance found in Alzheimer's patent's brain.
Additionally, carnosine appears able to help get rid of the helicobacter pylori bacterium, the organism associated with stomach cancer and peptic cancer. Therefore, it can significantly help protect and heal both peptic and gastric ulcers.
Other possible L-carnosine benefits
Increase muscle endurance and strength
Improves heart function
Speeds healing of wound
A powerful antioxidant that can deal with even the worst free radicals
Reduces inflammation and boosts immunity
It helps pull out or chelate some heavy metals from your body
May help autistic children
Act as anti-cancer agent in the body
Stabilizes cell membranes and slows down lipid peroxidation to protect the process of aging of the brain
L-carnosine can help in preventing or even treating age-related conditions like:
Cell aging/cellular senescence
Cross-linking of eye lens
Build up of damaged proteins
Brain circulatory Deficit
Cross-linking of collagen in the skin
DNA chromosome damage
LDL cholesterol oxidation
Formation of AGEs i.e. advanced glycation end-products.
What is stopping you from taking L-Carnosine today?
A Good Vitamin Plan Is Essential To a Health Child To Help Fight ADHD
December 21, 2010 06:19 PM
Have you known any child who is having difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity or over-activity? This child is probably experiencing attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. ADHD is a common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Researchers are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role.
Like many other health conditions, ADHD probably is a result of a combination of factors. There has been no cure for ADHD yet palliative management is promising in reducing symptoms of ADHD and improving the child’s well being and optimal functioning. These include medications, psychotherapy, training and education or a combination of these managements. In this article, we will be focusing on the natural vitamins that can help fight the exacerbation of ADHD symptoms which include:
1. Choline: Choline is a vital precursor to the production of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Acetylcholine. These nervous system chemicals are helpful in supporting concentration, alertness, and memory.
2. Zinc: Studies show that children in ADHD categories have lower levels of zinc and clincal studies reveal that those children who supplemented with extra zinc along with traditional ADHD medications have reported improvement of signs and symptoms most especially hyperactivity and impulsivity. Foods high in zinc include Seafood, oysters, salmon, crabmeat, and, red meat like beef, lamb and pork, poultry such as turkey and chicken, dairy products, nuts, beans, fortified cereals, and whole grains.
3. Fish oil: Most Oily Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids With DHA. These chemicals can improve mental skills and enhance the child’s ability to organize activities. Possible cause for the low fish oil status of the ADHD children may be impaired conversion of the fatty acid precursors namely Linolenic Acid and alpha-linolenic acid to their longer and more highly unsaturated products, EPA and DHA, which are fish oil fats. Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, butternuts and soybeans.
4. Magnesium: Magnesium can have a calming effect. The best thing about magnesium is that it is abundantly found in many foods. Low dietary magnesium levels could lead to anxiety, irritability, and/or restlessness. This mineral can also play a role in sugar metabolism, which is important when wanting to stabilizing moods and concentration. Magnesium, a calming mineral, can be found in foods like nuts, black beans, peas, seeds and ready-to-eat whole grain cereals.
5. Vitamin B-6: Vitamin B-6 is needed for normal mental development and is important in the synthesis of brain chemicals including dopamine , serotonin, and norepinephrine. A B-6 Deficiency has symptoms of inability to concentrate, irritability, and short-term memory loss. Regular consumption of vitamin B-6 could help reduce behavioral issues in a ADHD child. Good sources of B vitamins are milk, fish, eggs, yeast, green-leafy vegetables and cereals. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and can improve our mood.
These are some of the natural vitamins that we find in our food. A good multiple vitamin supplements with iron can be safe and effective.
If you Suspect your child has ADHD, whats stopping you from getting him or her on a supplement plan today?
Natural Vitamins for the Heart
July 06, 2010 02:44 PM
It has been consistently revealed by epidemiological research that individuals with a high dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins have a risk that is lower-than-average of cardiovascular disease. This evidence seems to be especially consistent for vitamin E. Additionally, many clinical studies show that magnesium supplementation is of significant benefit in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and in reversing the depletion of potassium that comes along with a magnesium Deficit. Many cardiovascular events like angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, and cardiomyopathy are related directly to low magnesium status. Coenzyme Q10 is an essential component in cellular energy production. This nutrient is also prevalent in the heart muscle. When tissue levels of CoQ10 are low, there is an association with several cardiovascular complications. Among these are angina, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, and mitral valve prolapse. Research has found that the trio of coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and magnesium plays a crucial role in the maintenance of cardiac health and the prevention of disease states.
The cardio-protective effect of vitamin E seems to come from its ability to bind to LDL cholesterol, which protects it from free-radical induce oxidative damage along with the consequent buildup of atherogenic plaque. Low levels of vitamin E in the blood are a predictive factor of heart health almost 70% of the time.
Studies on the general population have suggested that there is a link between the intake of calcium and blood pressure. Although results of the studies have not been consistent, there are several studies showing that calcium supplementation can lower blood pressure in those individuals who experience hypertension. Overall, those intakes of calcium that are sub-optimal contribute directly to hypertension. It seems that dietary calcium reduces blood pressure by normalizing intracellular calcium levels.
Supplementation with magnesium is of benefit for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and the prevention of potassium depletion. Both magnesium and potassium play an important role in the functioning of the heart. Several studies have found that there is improvement in heart function in those patients that have cardiomyopathies when they supplement with magnesium. Since magnesium acts in so many ways to enhance cardiac function and optimize cellular metabolism, magnesium is widely recognized as a critical nutrient for general cardiac support.
Several double-blind studies have taken place in those patients that experience various cardiomyopathies in order to show the benefits of CoQ10 supplementation. One study reported an 89% improvement rate in 80 cardiomyopathy patients who were treated with CoQ10. The coenzyme also appears to moderate blood pressure through the usual mechanism, as it lowers cholesterol levels and also stabilizes the vascular system with its antioxidant properties. Because of this, it is able to reduce vascular resistance. Several studies on CoQ10 supplementation have confirmed that this nutrient posses the ability lower both systolic and diastolic pressures by up to ten percent.
There are other nutrients that play important roles in optimizing cardiovascular health and reducing hypertension. Among these nutrients are gamma tocopherol, calcium, magnesium, l-carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine, procyanidolic oligomers, phenolic compounds, and lycopene. As you can see there are many natural supplements that can help the cardiovascular system. Remember to always consult your doctor before adding supplements to your diet while on prescription drugs. Look to your local or internet health food store for quality vitamins, herbs, and specialty formulas to boost your health and wellness.
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a Deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally Deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
April 05, 2009 01:40 PM
Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the newest name that has been given to a group of disorders of the central nervous system. With the long list of names this disorder has been given over the years, it is often confusing as to which criteria are for a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children in the United States have ADHD, meaning that at least one child in a classroom of twenty-five to thirty children will have ADHD. There are three times as many boys diagnosed with ADHD, but the condition is increasingly being diagnosed in girls as well.
Although ADHD was primarily thought of as a childhood disorder, it can be found in adults as well. Experts have estimated that as many as 8 million adults may be affected, but 80 percent of them do not realize it. Some studies show that there is significant decline in ADHD symptoms as a person ages, while others estimate that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD will carry some symptoms into adulthood. ADHD is a more complex disorder in adults, but it manifests itself into a problem with self-regulation. Without this self-control, an adult’s ability to do tasks is impaired. This condition can lead to marital conflicts, substance abuse, and financial problems. Infidelity is common because ADHD adults easily become bored with things, including spouses.
Factors that have been linked to the development of ADHD include heredity, anxiety, allergies, smoking during pregnancy, hyperinsulinemia, oxygen deprivation at birth, environmental stress or pollutants, artificial food additives, injury, infection, lead poisoning, and prenatal trauma. More emphasis has been placed on the role of diet in ADHD in recent years. Many people with these conditions react to certain preservatives, dyes, and salicylates in foods. These problems can cause the balance of chemistry in the brain to be thrown off, which produces undesirable changes in behavior. A low-protein diet may also be a contributing factor. Although a hotly debated topic for decades, studies have definitely shown that food additives do play a major role in hyperactivity.
Many researchers feel that ADHD is being over-diagnosed nowadays. It is difficult to accurately diagnose this condition because many of the symptoms appear in the normal, healthy children at many times during childhood. In fact, more than 60 percent of parents suspect that their child has ADHD at some point in their upbringing. What may merely be creativity or a high energy level can be diagnosed as ADHD. A diagnosis of ADHD should be made by a team of specialists who are experts in the disorder and it is wise to get a second opinion.
One should considered nutritional Deficiencies and dietary measures for treating ADHD. The following nutrients are recommended: calcium, magnesium, GABA, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Omega-3 fish oil, Pycnogenol, Quercetin, SAMe, acetylcholine, DMAE, l-cysteine, phosphatidyl serine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, and zinc. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: ginkgo biloba, ginseng, mullein oil, valerian root, catnip, chamomile, gotu kola, hops, kava kava, lemon balm, licorice, lobelia, oats, passionflower, skullcap, St. John’s wort, thyme, and wood betony.
Creating a nutritionally sound diet for children and adults can go a long way to controlling ADHD and ADD in general. Reducing sugar intake and adding good quality food that hasn’t been over processed which removes the needed vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we all need to live healthy lives. The above vitamins, minerals and herbs are suggested to be helpful for those suffering as well as those who aren’t, but always consult your health care provider before adding dietary supplements to ones diet while on prescription drugs. Quality vitamins can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Inositol And Choline
December 11, 2008 12:19 PM
Inositol is a member of the vitamin B complex family, being referred to as vitamin B8, but is not strictly a vitamin because it is biosynthesized in your body. Vitamins are essential substances that are not manufactured by your natural biochemistry, and must be taken in your diet. However, to all intents and purposes it works like a member of the vitamin B family.
The main function of myo-inositol (the commonest isomer of inositol) is in the health of cell membranes, particularly those that comprise the marrow, eyes, intestines and the brain. Without proper regulation of the cell membrane, the cell cannot function effectively. Some of its effects include healthy hair and controlling estrogen levels. It is also believed to help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
A Deficiency will result in hair loss, eczema, increased blood cholesterol levels and eye abnormalities. You might also suffer constipation, although this is not as serious a condition as those preceding. It is present at highest levels in the heart and brain, which indicates where it is mostly used, although it also helps the liver to break down fats and enables the nerves and muscles to operate as they should.
Those that are depressed are frequently found to have low inositol levels in their spinal fluid, so it is believed to play a part in that condition. It is known that the substance takes part in the function of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to play a part in depression, and initial signs are that its use in the treatment of depression could be effective. Neurotransmitters are responsible for passing messages across the gap (synapses) between nerve cells, their messages being decoded by the neuroreceptors. A healthy nervous system depends on healthy neurotransmitters.
For these reasons, inositol has also been tried on other conditions of the nervous system. These include bipolar disorder, bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention Deficit disorder. So far, results have been inconclusive as to its effectiveness, but it is early days yet and field tests are continuing.
A test carried out in Beersheva, Israel, in 1997, found that treatment with inositol produced significant improvement in the depression of 28 patients after four weeks on the Hamilton Depression Scale1, and 21 patients tested with panic disorder (with and without agoraphobia) showed significant improvements in their condition, including agoraphobia. Results on 13 patients with obsessive compulsive disorder also showed significant improvement. These were all double-blind tests.
However, not all tests have been so conclusive, and a study on 42 people with sever depression who did not respond to conventional antidepressant, also failed to respond when inositol was added to their medication.2 Results are therefore not conclusive.
Four hundred people took part in a double-blind test that indicated a possible improvement in the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome when treated with inositol 3,4 and another that inositol treatment on patients taking lithium could help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, a skin condition believed to be caused by a reaction of the immune system and nerves.5
The supplement has also been found to be just as effective as Luvox (fluvoxamine – similar to Prozac) after four weeks treatment. Although these results are good, they are inconclusive, and more data is need before any indisputable conclusions can be drawn. However, treatment with inositol might be worth considering if conventional treatment for these conditions has been unsuccessful.
The most common natural form of inositol is myo-inositol, an isomer of cyclohehexanehexol, a carbocyclic polyol that form the structural basis for secondary messengers in the cells of eukaryotes.
A secondary messenger system is one whereby a signaling molecule is released in response to a signal from a primary messenger such as a neuroreceptor, which then activates certain intracellular proteins known as effector proteins that exert a response from the cell. An example is cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) that is a secondary messenger that activates protein kinases and allows them to phosphorylated proteins.
Eukaryotes are organisms that contain cells composed of complex components contained within a cellular membrane, and that also contain a nucleus. Examples are fungi, plants and all animals. Examples of non eukaryotes include the bacteria family.
It is frequently recommended that inositol is most effective when taken with an equal amount of choline, although this might be due to the fact that when inositol Deficiency is detected, choline is also frequently Deficient. Both are vitamin B family like, and both are lipotropic, in that they aid the breakdown of fats in the body. It is not clear whether this is true or not, but taking both would certainly not harm you, and might be of great benefit.
Inositol is not essential, because it can be obtained from beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, cantaloupe, brewer’s yeast, liver and vegetables. Bacteria in the gut also act on the phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate) contained in citrus fruits to form inositol.
However, be careful if you drink a lot of coffee. It destroys inositol, and if you are taking the supplement medicinally, steer clear of coffee during your period of treatment because it will lose its effect. Excessive coffee drinking can also result in a general depletion of inositol from your diet, and hence a Deficiency. In such a case you are advised to take a supplement, preferably along with choline that might also be Deficient.
Although there have been no adverse side effects reported, no specific longer term safety studies have been carried out on inositol. Because of the way it works, inositol should be avoided by people with liver or kidney disease, and also by expectant or nursing women. It should be avoided by young children until safety tests have been carried out, and it is believed that it can cause manic effects in those suffering bipolar disorder.
Other than for these specific cases, trials with many times the average daily intake of the substance, it currently appears safe to take inositol as a long-term supplement. However, as with all such supplements intended for specific disorders, you should seek the advice of your physician.
References: 1. Levine J: Ministry of Health Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev,Beersheva, Israel ur Neuropsychopharmacol, 1997 May, 7:2, 147-55
2. Nemets B, Mishory A, Levine J, et al. Inositol addition does not improve depression in SSRI treatment failures. J Neural Transm. 1999;106:795-798.
3. Gerli S, Mignosa M, Di Renzo GC. Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2003;7:151-9.
4. Gerli S, Papaleo E, Ferrari A, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: effects of myo-inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2007;11:347-354.
5. Allan SJ, Kavanagh GM, Herd RM, et al. The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium: arandomized, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2004;150:966-969.
October 31, 2008 04:28 PM
Contrary to popular belief, Attention Deficit and hyper activity (ADHD) doesn’t always go away when children grow up. Many of the children affected by this disorder as children carry it on into adult hood. This complicated disease can cause all sorts of problems mostly lost of work.
One survey studying over seven thousand workers between the ages of eighteen and forty four discovered that three and one half percent of these workers studied had ADHD. The ability to concentrate cost these individuals over twenty days of work. Both women and men experience mood, anxiety and most likely abuse drugs and alcohol. Fortunately there is an alternative, changing ones diet can help.
Dietary changes can help reduce the occurrence of ADHD in both children and adults. Have you ever noticed when you eat a meal high in carbohydrates you become sleepy where a meal higher in protein then carbohydrates does not make you sleepy but increase your mental acuity?
A high protein meal can reduce the amount of tryptophan that crosses the blood brain barrier in turn causes more phenylalanine and tyrosine to enter the brain. These two amino acids boost mental alertness. They are converted into neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine which are adrenaline like neurotransmitters. High carbohydrate meals cause an insulin spike in the blood which causes the body to absorb protein into the muscles and frees up tryptophan.
Tryptophan when not in competition with other amino acids will cross the blood brain barrier which then is converted to serotonin a sleep neurotransmitter. To help over come this, one should eat a meal high in protein at breakfast and moderate protein / carbohydrate meal at lunch, leaving the last big meal of the day rich in carbohydrates.
Some older individuals may notice that they have a hard time sleeping at night; this may largely be due to a high protein meal later in the evening which stimulates the brain. A over stimulated brain will hinder ones sleep and could cause insomnia.
Other things that can help with ADHD are omega-3 fish oil that is high in DHA, phosphatidyl serine, and DMEA. The later two convert to neurotransmitters that can help support healthy mental function and alertness.
DHA for Attention and Focus
September 29, 2008 05:33 PM
Attention Deficit/hyperactivity disorder emerged in scientific research at the turn of the 20th century when Dr. George Still was introduced to a disobedient, troubled, nine year-old boy. Today, research still just touches the edge of this serious disorder, but our understanding has steadily grown throughout the 20th century. Dr. Still believed that ADHD is not just the result of bad parenting, but also of some sort of condition in the brain. The symptoms that comprised ADHD were considered minimal brain dysfunction or minimal brain damage in the 1940s or 1950s, while others called it hyperactivity. By 1987, scientists were referring to the condition as ADHD.
Today, no one has yet to pinpoint the exact cause of ADHD, but there has been some interesting research that has lead to the discovery of many different facts. Identical twins are much more likely than fraternal twins to both suffer from ADHD, as identical twins share genetic material, causing researchers to believe that ADHD may have a genetic component. A study of adults with ADHD showed that ADHD brain cells were less active by eight percent and used glucose less effectively in the areas of the brain that involved attention control. About seventy percent of ADHD children continue having ADHD when they become adults. Additionally, a study found that fifty-seven boys with ADHD suffered from a slight structural abnormality in the brain, with the prefrontal cortex, caudate, nucleus, and globus pallidus being slightly smaller on the right side than in fifty-five boys who didn’t suffer from this disease. All of these areas are parts of the brain that are believed to inhibit our actions.
The American Psychiatric Association says that children can have ADHD if they have six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention for six months or longer. Other possible symptoms include: frequently not paying close attention to details; frequently having trouble staying focused on tasks; frequently not following through on instructions; frequently having difficulty organizing duties and activities; frequently failing to listen when directly spoken to; frequently avoiding or hesitating to be involved in tasks requiring continued mental effort; frequently losing objects needed for duties or activities; frequently distracted by external stimuli; and frequently forgetting daily activities.
Other symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity would include: frequently fidgets with hands or feet; frequently squirming while sitting down; frequently leaves seat in places where remaining seated is the accepted norm; frequently running around or climbing in places that are inappropriate; frequently having difficult playing quietly; frequently appearing on the go; frequently speaking excessively; frequently blurting out answers before questions are completed; frequently having trouble waiting his turn; and frequently interrupting conversations or games with others.
The most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD is medication, often being Ritalin, which is a stimulant that helps to enhance the effect of the brain chemicals that help nerve and brain cells to receive messages from each other. Ritalin can help ease the suffering of a child with ADHD, making them more attentive and less aggressive. However, there are many drawbacks to the use of Ritalin, which include it being a form of amphetamine, becoming a popular drug to abuse, having many significant side affects, and being psychologically addictive. Natural alternatives are available such as Dha or essential fatty acids which are suppose to promote proper brain function.
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?
July 18, 2008 12:36 PM
You can be sure that a supplement has some remarkable therapeutic possibilities when it makes headlines on the five o’clock news. A recent experiment which showed the conditions of rats that had been fed a diet that was totally Deficient in vitamin E tested alpha lipoic acid, which caused the rats to return to full health even though no vitamin E was replenished. The results of this test are profound, as giving these rats an alpha lipoic acid caused existing stores of vitamin E that the body was previously unable to use to be regenerated.
Alpha lipoic acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant that has been used in Europe for a long period of time. It has recently emerged as an extremely impressive therapeutic agent that scavenges free-radicals. Recent studies have suggested that it has the ability to stop some degenerative diseases, the oxidative process of aging, and restores the health of diseased organs. Additionally, it has the ability to make up Deficits of vitamin E or C and could potentially be one of the best treatments that have emerged for diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is considered to be more potent than vitamins E and C, as well as coenzyme Q10. Unlike other antioxidants, ALA has properties that make it superior because it is able to replace certain nutritional supplements, while potentiating others, and inhibiting tissues from deterioration that is associated with diseases. This supplement is also both fat and water soluble, which allows it to protect lipid and aqueous cell structures.
Alpha lipoic acid is a compound that is synthesized in small amounts in the body, but can also be supplied from food or supplement sources. A vitamin-like substance, it contains sulfur and also plays a crucial role in energy reactions. It can be found in liver, yeast, spinach, organ meats, broccoli, red potatoes, and red meat. When it is orally ingested, alpha lipoic acid is not compromised in the GI tract or the liver.
Numerous studies have been conducted on ALA, all of which confirm its positive effect on metabolic processes, with recent clinical tests supporting its ability to enhance free-radical protection, slow the aging process, and guard against a variety of degenerative diseases. ALA was discovered in the 1930s, where it was originally classified as a vitamin, and later categorized as an essential coenzyme when scientists discovered that it was involved in the energy processes of cell mitochondria. It wasn’t until 1988 that scientists found that it also has powerful antioxidant effects.
Alpha lipoic acid is important because it protects us from free-radicals which are present in a body as a result of the number of toxic substances such as auto exhaust, tobacco smoke, pollution, preservatives, and additives that we are exposed to on a daily basis. These free radicals can actually accelerate the aging process, causing premature tissue breakdown to occur. Additionally, our environment will continue to surround us with these pollutants that create free radicals.
There are things we can do to minimize our health risks, which include exercising, eating nutritiously, and not smoking. However, these measures are rarely enough to decrease our risk for certain degenerative disease a substantial amount. ALA is beneficial because it scavenges oxidants that are left behind and helps to convert carbohydrates, fatty acids and protein to energy that is needed to drive muscle movements.
June 14, 2008 03:22 PM
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) enhances mental function through the improvement of concentration, mental clarity and mental alertness. It is also a mild brain stimulant because it increases and sustains the energy levels in the brain. It also improves the level of restful nighttime sleep because the sleep is deeper and less time is needed to reach a rejuvenated state. DMAE helps to boost mental function through an increase in the levels of acetylcholine and choline. These are the brain’s chemical messengers.
Because of DMAE’s ability to stimulate mental cognitive function, it also has been shown to improve learning, increase intelligence and elevate mood.
* Accelerates mental processes * Decreases irritability and overactivity * Does not cause drowsiness * Improves concentration * Improves IQ * Increases attention * Relieves mild depression * Aids in long-term treatment of schizophrenia
It is believed that DMAE may also increase physical energy. Athletes and other active individuals are using DMAE more and more because of its ability to enhance these brain functions. The connection between the mind and muscles is a means to focus on form and reduce the risk of injury. So, when the mind is enhanced, it communicates better with the muscles to improve and refine function.
Due to DMAE’s mild stimulating effect on the brain, athletes report that it is a good alternative for a quick lift instead of coffee. They also believe the stimulating effects last longer than they do with caffeine. DMAE used as a mild stimulant is also safer and healthier than caffeine.
How It Works:
DMAE, once consumed, is transported to the liver where it is converted into choline through the process of metabolism. A small amount is then converted into acetylcholine, which is a brain transmitter. Through this process, DMAE increases the levels of these brain transmitters (neurotransmitters). This causes a boost in mental cognitive function and memory.
Acetylcholine is also responsible for helping to conduct nerve impulses in the brain. Choline is also converted in the brain into phosphatidylcholine. This chemical rebuilds and protects existing cell membranes inside the brain. DMAE has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier faster than choline. Through this quicker travel, DMAE enhances cell protection and repair and helps our brains function better and create enhanced, positive behavioral changes in most people.
Other DMAE Uses:
DMAE is being studied for use in aiding a movement disorder in Parkinson’s patients. This disorder, called dyskenesis is caused by L-Dopa, which is administered to treat the effects of the disease. DMAE seems to counteract dyskenesis effectively and safely without interfering with the benefits of the therapy. DMAE is proving to reduce the effects of other disorders that involve involuntary movements. Two of these disorders being treated are blepharospasm (eyelid twitching) and benign essential tremors.
Age spot sufferers may find hope for treatment of their condition as well. DMAE has been found to inhibit the formation of pigment caused by aging (lipofuscin) and liver spots (lentigo). It may actually flush lipofuscin from the body, causing the skin spots to disappear over a few month’s time.
DMAE is being studied for its possible ability in helping to reduce cognitive impairments related to age. Aside from increased mental cognitive function, research has shown that DMAE may also be useful in treating the following conditions.
* Alzheimer’s disease * ADD (attention Deficit disorder) * Hyperactivity
The use of DMAE as a regular dietary supplement is increasing steadily. All of its benefits in aiding mental cognitive function and brain stimulation are an attractive quality for everyone. Additional research showing that DMAE is useful in treating debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s gives us new hope. As research continues and more new uses for DMAE are discovered, its popularity will continue to grow as well.
B Vitamin Supplements
May 07, 2008 03:18 PM
The fact that B vitamins have had to be coenzymated before they can be used by your body has been known for some time, but it is only over the past few years that they have been made commercially available in that form. Before we discuss the B vitamins in their coenzyme form it might be appropriate to discuss what coenzymes are and how they differ from ordinary enzymes.
An enzyme is like an organic catalyst: it takes part in biochemical reactions by allowing such reactions to take place, but itself remaining unchanged. All enzymes are proteins formed in your body from amino acids and other protein material. A coenzyme, on the other hand, is somewhat like an enzyme for the enzymes, in that it is needed for the enzyme to do its job. Without a coenzyme, many enzymes could not promote the biochemical reaction it is responsible for.
The B vitamins are all water soluble, which means that they are readily excreted and it is not impossible that if you take a B vitamin supplement, the whole lot will be immediately excreted in your urine if not used by your body. Whether they are or not it is a fact that your body can quickly become depleted of the B vitamin group, especially if you drink a lot. Alcoholics in particular are frequently vitamin B Deficient. Although the liver can store unused vitamin B, they are only very small quantities and insufficient to prevent a Deficiency.
A Deficiency in the B vitamins can cause a wide range of unpleasant conditions that are rapidly remedied with supplements. Pellagra is due largely to a Deficiency in Vitamin B3, and causes hair loss, horrible skin lesions and many other side effects that you don’t want to know about. Vitamin B12 Deficiency can cause loss of memory, and is common in alcoholics and some vegetarians (vitamin B12 is animal derived). Other symptoms of a general B vitamin Deficiency include exhaustion, heart palpitations, fibrillation, anxiety, restlessness, attention Deficit disorder and many, many more.
It is not pleasant so you make sure that take enough vitamin B in your diet: dietary sources are far superior to pills although supplements will help you get over the symptoms of the Deficiency until your diet takes over. Supplementation is also a good way to maintain a regular supply of vitamin B complex irrespective of your diet. The effects of a Deficiency are so bad that a regular supplement is well worth taking.
However, back to coenzymes and why they are needed for the metabolism of B vitamins in your body. Most B vitamins are, in fact, coenzymes themselves. Keep in mind that the definition of a vitamin is an organic substance that is essential for the normal health of your body. If you lack even one vitamin, your health with suffer and eventually you will be likely to die. That describes all of the B vitamins perfectly, and they also just happen to be coenzymes. This is not coincidence, of course, and their biochemistry must have been recognized before the concept of coenzymes was formulated.
The B vitamins proper consist of eight distinct proteins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cyanocobalamin), and biotin and pantothenic acid. They are all essential components in human and animal metabolism, and most are also coenzymes.
Every cell in your body depends on B vitamins for its existence, which is why pregnant women should include a good supply of them in their diet, especially folic acid (B9). They are essential for the cellular development of the fetus. Folic acid is necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids that allow cell growth and the production of red blood cells. However, not one can be placed in importance above any other since they are all essential.
With respect to the coenzyme factor, the vitamin B coenzymes are responsible for many of the biochemical reactions upon which life depends. Coenzyme B-12 for example is essential for two types of reaction that it catalyzes, one being a hydrogen atom exchange with alcohol and amine functional groups, the other being connected with methyl group transfer between molecules.
In humans, the first of these is responsible for an essential step that results in energy being metabolized from fats and proteins in the mitochondria and the second for DNA production in cells that is indirectly responsible for growth. Each of these is why a vitamin B-12 Deficiency leads to excessive fatigue and also a lack of fetal growth (although folic acid can make up for the latter Deficiency).
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is a coenzyme for the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy. In the body it is present in the form of thiamine diphosphate, a coenzyme that assists in the decarboxylation of pyruvate as part of the citric acid cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs Cycle, that takes place in the mitochondria and is responsible for the generation of energy through aerobic respiration.
Another coenzyme that is involved in the Krebs Cycle is formed in the body from Vitamin B3, or niacin. This coenzyme, nicotinamine adenine dinucleotide, has a redox potential and can store energy for use later on. Vitamin B5 can be converted in the body to Coenzyme A that not only breaks proteins down into individual amino acids, but also takes part in the first part of the Krebs Cycle. There is a common pattern emerging here where the B vitamins have an important part to play in the generation of energy from fats and carbohydrates.
Similarly, Vitamin B6 is present in the body as the coenzyme Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate that helps to break down the body’s emergency energy store, glycogen, into energy when needed.
In these ways, and more, the coenzymes created in the body from the B vitamins help many of the reactions of life to take place, and without these coenzymes life could not exist. Hence the importance of the B vitamins themselves, and any Deficiency could be disastrous to the metabolic processes that generate energy and keep you alive. It is not just the energy needed for exercise and normal human activity that will be compromised, but also that which keeps the heart beating and your diaphragm moving to allow you to breath.
Without a doubt, a Vitamin B supplement is one of the most valuable of all the vitamin supplements, and they are available in many forms. You might also find some of the B vitamins in their coenzyme form, though some of them may be unstable. However, whatever form they are taken in, Vitamin B complex should be one of the first on your vitamin supplement shopping list.
Magnesium Can Reduce Stress
April 25, 2008 01:36 PM
We here a lot about the need to take supplemental calcium, but what we don’t hear is that adequate levels of magnesium are essential in order to absorb and metabolize calcium. Today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium and many of us are not getting recommended amounts of this mineral. This is especially important when taking supplemental calcium both to maintain calcium-magnesium balance and to prevent buildup of excess calcium in the body.
To ward off the negative effects of a prolonged period of stress or an overreaction to stress, calcium needs to be balanced with adequate amounts of magnesium. Going through a stressful period without sufficient magnesium can set up a Deficit which, if not corrected, can linger, causing more stress and further health problems.
Natural stress relief comes from magnesium.
The solution to restoring healthy magnesium levels and balancing calcium intake is either done by change ones diet or adding magnesium supplement to their diet. By adding magnesium to ones diet one experiences natural stress relief. There is a product on the market called natural calm; it has been the best selling magnesium supplement for the past two years straight. This supplement mixes into water or juice where it can easily be drank and absorbed into the system. Just one serving can help one feel relieve from excess stress.
Is Drugging Our Children The Answer Or Could A Natural Supplement Magnesium Help?
December 05, 2007 11:02 AM
ttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been a commonly diagnosed illness occurring in children since the 1980s. Many people argue that ADHD should not be categorized as a disorder, but rather a set of problems that are normal to childhood. Either way, ADHD’s symptoms consist of wandering attention, nervousness, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can be extremely troubling for the parents and teachers that have to work with children suffering from ADHD. Drugs like Ritalin have been promoted ADHD treatments for many years, but have been found to have highly dangerous side effects and not be a solution to everything. Meanwhile, many nutritionists have discovered that many of the answers to ADHD can be found in a child’s diet in the form of food additives, sugar, and the missing essential nutrients.
One child who was horribly hyperactive, out of control, and diagnosed with ADHD by a school psychologist was taken off any foods that contained a particular red dye. Almost immediately, the child’s hyperactivity ceased and he began paying attention and living the life of a normal child. A study recently completed at Yale University School of Medicine supported this result, showing a direct connection between food additives and hyperactivity. This study consisted of 297 children who were given drinks that contained common artificial food colorings and additives that are usually found in food and candy. Meanwhile, a control group was given drinks without additives. The children who drank the additive-enhanced drinks showed a significantly greater amount of hyperactivity and had shorter attention spans.
Another common cause of ADHD symptoms in children is overdosing of sugar. With all the snack-like breakfast cereals available and the high sugar-constant treats, hyperactivity should be expected. Once a child consumes a large quantity of sugar, he will hit a high of out-of-control hyperactivity and then quickly become grouchy and prone to tantrums. This is often called a “sugar rush” and can easily be solved by taking children off sugar.
After removing chemical additives and processed sugar from the diet, ADHD symptoms have also been traced to a lack of mineral magnesium. This nutrient is essential and often missing from most diets today. Kids who drink a lot of soda or fruit juices are getting high amounts of sugar but not magnesium. Those children without magnesium often suffer from irritability, insomnia, and constipation. These symptoms, which are commonly diagnosed as ADHD, can be cleared up quickly by putting your child on a magnesium supplement. Most nutritionists agree, believing that many ADHD symptoms come from a high sugar diet and a magnesium Deficiency. Sugar and over-stimulation, such as stress, actually exhausts a child’s nervous system. This can be cured with a magnesium supplement which allows the nervous system to rebuild. In addition, this supplement will assist the child in relaxing. Since children are the future for our society, helping them to survive in the best way possible, naturally, is something each and every one of us should take much more responsibility for.
Omega-3 Relieves Depression in Some Individuals
November 02, 2007 03:27 PM
Omega-3 oils contain fatty acids that are known as essential fatty acids because they cannot be manufactured in your body but have to be taken in your diet. They provide many benefits to your body, and are also believed to relieve depression in some individuals. First, however, an overview of the more conventional benefits of omega-3 oils.
Obtainable in your diet from oily fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon and the like, omega-3 fatty acids play an important part in your normal growth and development, and are also crucial to normal brain function. They can reduce inflammation and protect you from heart disease and some cancers. Studies have shown the fatty acids to be particularly concentrated in the brain and to be important for cognitive processes and memory.
The effects of omega 3 fish oils on the brain are well documented, and they are known to be effective treatments in some cases of bipolar and schizophrenia. It is believed that they could also be used as a treatment in other disorders such as attention Deficit disorder and dyslexia, but there is as yet no evidence that this is the case.
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the so-called ‘bad’ low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and increase the high density lipoproteins (HDL) that take the cholesterol back to the liver for destruction. The end result is a reduction in the cholesterol content of the blood that can be deposited on the artery walls and promote atherosclerosis. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids appear to lower blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension, and so reduce their chances of heart attacks and strokes.
Omega 3 oils are also natural inflammatories, and help prevent conditions involving inflammation such as arthritis, asthma and menstrual cramps. They appear to help the immune system to fight these conditions and reduce the inflammation and its causes.
They are also important in the formation of prostaglandins that are responsible for the regulation of important functions such as blood pressure, blood clotting and immune response. They are hormone-like substances and also control the synthesis in the body of other hormones. If the balance of fatty acids in the diet is not right, then the subsequent imbalance in prostaglandin and hormone production can lead to disease.
It is in its effect on depression and mood, however, that has surprised many in the medical, profession. Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate, known as ethyl EPA, is a constituent of omega-3 fish oil and many studies have demonstrated that this substance helps cases of depression and related disorders. However, are people justified in turning to ethyl EPA to help them be cured of this condition?
In one study involving 20 people, six out of ten people given the supplement displayed significantly reduced symptoms of depression after four weeks. The effects were noticed as early as two weeks and many of the depression symptoms, such as worthlessness and insomnia, had improved after three weeks. This conformed with the results of many other studies that have been carried out world wide. In Scotland, a number of patients were studied who had failed to respond to traditional antidepressant drugs. Of the seventy patients involved in the trial, all of the patients who were treated with EPA displayed significant improvements in all the symptoms of their depression after four weeks whereas those with the placebo showed no improvement.
Of the two main components of omega-3 fish oil, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), only the EPA has this property, and the EPA works best alone when the DHA has been extracted. Studies and tests have indicated that the DHA appears to be important for the brain’s structure, but the EPA for its function, hence the reason for the ineffectiveness of the former in relieving depression which is a function of the brain rather connected to its structure. In fact, depressed people have been found to be Deficient in EPA in comparison to those not suffering from the condition. The original idea for this originated with the late Dr. Horribin who was pioneer in researching the effects of lipids on the biochemistry of the brain as far back as the 1970s. Since then the world-wide research has confirmed his theory. However, the reason why this theory works in practice is not yet understood. It has been established that a diet rich in trans fats can unfavorably affect the hormones in the brain that stabilize mood, possibly due to the fats slowing down the system of messaging within the brain. This kind of effect can cause depression.
This is likely due to the slowing down of the messages passing between the synapses. Brain cells communicate by means of chemicals that cross the synapses, or small gaps between the individual cells. They are not directly connected like normal electrical circuits. It has been theorized that the EPA speeds up the passage of these messages between neurotransmitters and neuroreceptors. Other theories have also been promoted, such as that the EPA has properties of its own that cure depression by another route altogether.
A possible clue could be in the findings of one study on a man aged 21 years old whose brain was scanned before and after EPA treatment. The result showed in increase in the mass of brain cells after the treatment. This was contrary to the belief that brain cells could neither be generated nor grown once a person reaches maturity.
An individual suffering depression who would like to treat themselves with EPA would have to buy a lot of oily fish since high doses are needed for this level of therapy. However, it is found in high concentrations in a few supplements available on the market, and when choosing you must use the highest grade of EPA you can get, with as low a DHA content as you can find.
There is little doubt now; however, that the EPA content of omega-3 relieves depression in some individuals, although more work is needed to prove without doubt that it is effective with all forms of depression.
Reduce Your Cholesterol With Natural Vitamins
July 12, 2007 08:58 AM
Thanks to the excellent efforts of health education organizations like the American Heart Association, we’ve learned a lot about cholesterol and how it affects our health.
We know: high cholesterol levels increase our risk for heart attacks and strokes: lowering our cholesterol levels will reduce this risk and keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy; and that diet, weight loss, and exercise will all help us in our quest to lower our cholesterol levels. We also know at times, despite these good efforts, some people’s cholesterol levels are still too high.
Prescription drugs to lower cholesterol are now available and they are heavily advertised by the pharmaceutical companies that make them. What the commercials neglect to say is these medications, collectively called statin drugs, have some serious side effects. Statin drugs can cause elevations in liver enzymes, an indication of liver irritation. They are associated with myopathy, a painful disorder of muscle inflammation and muscle degeneration. Ironically, statin drugs significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body, a Deficit that can lead to heart disease.
Statin drugs have also been linked to a rare and at times, fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis. Because of this alarming link, the makers of cerivistatin, a popular stain drug, recalled this medication from the market on August 8, 2001. The Food and Drug Administration a greed with the recall and supported the decision.
Thankfully, there is a safe solution to the dangers of high cholesterol levels. A natural dietary supplement is now available that can lower cholesterol very effectively without any harmful side effects. Backed by many years of scientific research and clinical study, pantethine and plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are nature’s answer to dangerous prescription cholesterol lowering medications.
To understand how pantethine and plant sterols work to lower cholesterol levels, we need to first review what we know about cholesterol and heart disease.
Q. What exactly is cholesterol?
A. Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell of the body. We need cholesterol to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes, insulate nerves, and make hormones. Cholesterol is made primarily in the liver but also by cells lining the small intestine and by individual cells in the body. While our body makes all of the cholesterol we actually need (about 1,000 milligrams a day), we also get additional cholesterol from foods we eat.
The highest source of cholesterol are egg yolks and organ meats such a liver and kidney. No plant-derived food contains cholesterol, not even peanut butter or avocado, even though these foods are high in fat. However, all foods from animal sources such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products contain cholesterol.
Q. How does cholesterol cause heart disease?
A. Although cholesterol serves many important functions in the body, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can be dangerous. When blood cholesterol reaches high levels, it builds up on artery walls, increasing the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.
The heart is a muscle, and like all muscles, needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. The bloodstream transports these nutrients to the heart through the coronary arteries. If the coronary arteries became narrowed or clogged by cholesterol and fat deposits (artherosclerosis) and cannot supply enough blood to the heart, the result is coronary heart disease (CHD). IF not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches the heart muscle, a sharp, sudden chest pain (angina) may occur. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is most often caused from a blood clot forming on top of an already narrowed artery.
Q. What is LDL and HDL cholesterol?
A. Cholesterol and other fats can’t dissolve in the blood and, therefore, can’t travel on their own. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins. The two major lipoproteins are low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is most often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol whereas HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol.
LDLs carry cholesterol throughout the body to the cells. LDLs cause artherosclerosis by clogging up our arteries with the continual buildup of fat. HDL, on the other hand, prevents this fat buildup within arterial walls, by carrying it away from the arteries, to the liver where it is eventually processed and eliminated.
Q. What are triglycerides?
A. Triglycerides are fats used as fuel by the body and as an energy source for metabolism. Triglyceride levels fluctuate easily, changing after every meal. Increased levels are almost always a sign of too much carbohydrate and sugar intake. Triglycerides in high amounts make the blood more sluggish and less capable of transporting oxygen, particularly through the small blood vessels. High triglycerides, along with high LDL “bad” cholesterol, are considered strong and independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
There are several medications physicians can prescribe for people with elevated triglyceride levels. Some of the most effective (as well as the most harmful) are the statins. The powerful, all-natural combination of pantethine and plant sterols can safely and, just as effectively, lower both triglycerides and LDL “bad” cholesterol and increase HDL “good” cholesterol.
Q. What is pantethine and how does it lower cholesterol?
A. Pantethine, a form of pantothenic acid (also known as vitamin B5) is found in foods such as liver, salmon, and yeast. Pantethine lowers cholesterol by blocking its production.
Cholesterol synthesis, or the production of cholesterol in the human body, is an incredibly complex process. It involves many biochemical reactions and enzymes activity requiring several steps.
Studies have shown that pantethine inhibits several of these enzymes and coenzymes. It blocks the activity of one coenzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis, HMG-CoA, by about 50%. This results in significantly lower cholesterol production. But, that’s not all. To compensate for the lowered cholesterol production, the liver pulls LDL out of the bloodstream. The end results? Studies have shown that on average, pantethine can lower total cholesterol levels by 16%, LDL cholesterol levels by 14%, serum triglycerides by 38%, and can raise HDL cholesterol by 10%.
Q. What are plant sterols and how do they lower cholesterol levels?
A. Plant sterols are the fats of plants. They are found in nuts, vegetable oils, corn, and rice. Plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol and are able to act as a stand-in for cholesterol and block its absorption.
The liver receives about 800 mg of cholesterol every day from intestinal absorption. Cholesterol is absorbed from the intestines through receptor sites – special channels that are shaped exactly like cholesterol molecules. The cholesterol enters these channels and is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Because plant sterols look like cholesterol, they fit perfectly into these channels. The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted.
If we eat enough plant sterols, the amount of cholesterol transported from the intestinal tract to the liver is greatly reduced. And, just like pantethine’s effect on the liver, this cholesterol reduction causes the liver to pull LDL cholesterol out of the blood, reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Q. Can’t we get the benefit of plant sterols and pantethine just by eating those foods that contain them?
A. These amounts of plant sterol and pantethine found in food just aren’t enough to have much of an effect on our health. In order to lower cholesterol levels, we need to take a concentrated combination of pantethine and plant sterols in just the right ratio.
Plant sterols are bound in fibers in the plants. Even if we ate lots of raw fruits and vegetables, we wouldn’t be getting many of these beneficial plant fats. There are also several forms of plant sterols. Some ratios of these plant sterols are more beneficial than others. On the average, we eat 160 to 360 mg of plant sterols a day.
While pantethine is found in several food sources, it is difficult to get beneficial amounts from our food. There are about 12 mg of pantethine in 3 ounces of brewer’s yeast and 8 mg in an average serving of liver.
Q. How much pantethine and plant sterol combination should I take?
A. Many studies have examined the effects of pantethine and plant sterols on cholesterol levels resulting in the determination of the most effective amounts to take of these heart healthy nutrients.
Manufacturers of high quality nutritional supplements offer pantethine combined with plant sterols in the most beneficial ratio as determined by the research. The best results are obtained by taking a combination of 400 mg of plant sterols and 200 mg of pantethine three times a day.
Q. Should only people with actual heart disease or those with high cholesterol levels be concerned about cholesterol?
A. No, recent studies have shown that cholesterol lowering in people without heart disease greatly reduces their risk for ever developing CHD, including heart attacks and artherosclerosis. This is true for those with high cholesterol levels and for those with average cholesterol levels.
Most physicians would never consider prescribing statin drugs to people without actual heart disease or high cholesterol levels because of the many health risks of the drugs. But the combination of pantethine and plant sterols can naturally and very effectively help those people with heart disease, high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels (or all three!) as well as those of us just wanting added “health insurance” for our hearts.
Q. Are pantethine and plant sterols safe?
A. Yes, both pantethine and plant sterols are very safe. Some people may experience some mild stomach upset when they first take pantethine. Taking the combination of pantethine and plant sterols with meals generally solves this problem.
Americans have listened, learned, and most importantly, taken to heart the vast and vital information on the need to keep our cholesterol levels under control. The result? More and more Americans are lucky enough to die of old age. The Centers for Disease Control recently released a report stating that the average American life expectancy has reached a new high of 76.9 years, thanks in no small measure to fewer people who are dying from heart disease,
The authors of this report stated that we could push our life expectancy even higher. We can attain healthy, old age by eating right, exercising regularly, and taking other simple steps to promote good health and prevent serious illness and heart disease. Taking the all-natural combination of pantethine and plant sterols is one simple, yet powerful step, to keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy for a long, long time.
Osteoporosis, Calcium and Magnesium
April 20, 2007 12:06 PM
Consider the following: what country has the highest rate of pasteurized milk consumption? USA Today reports that more than 45 percent of Americans, aged four years and older, drink milk. Now, what country has the highest calcium supplement consumption? America. So, America must have the lowest occurrence of osteoporosis, calcium loss and bone fragility. Right? Wrong! We have the highest rate! Why? Excess calcium combined with low magnesium.
One research study concludes that neither milk nor a high calcium diet appears to reduce the risk of osteoporotic hip fractures in postmenopausal women. Another study concluded that findings “do not support the hypothesis that higher consumption of milk or other food sources of calcium by adult women protect against hip or forearm fractures.” On the other hand, a recent double-blind trial conducted by Yale University School of Medicine found that magnesium significantly increased bone mineral content of the hip bones of girl’s ages 8 to 14 years.
It is magnesium that will handle a calcium Deficiency as well as the lack of adequate magnesium, and it will dissolve excess calcium from the body while helping any needed calcium to assimilate. Today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Factor in the recent addition of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications that are meant to stave osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium.
Magnesium is crucial to increasing bone mass, since it is magnesium that allows calcium to assimilate. People taking supplemental calcium should accompany their calcium with the magnesium necessary for absorption. Women taking calcium supplements to ward off osteoporosis, with out adequate magnesium nutrition, can further exacerbate the effects of a magnesium Deficit. (Calcium supplements taken without sufficient magnesium can actually LOWER the bone mineralization process.) Magnesium is as important as calcium in the prevention of osteoporosis and is vital to increase bone mass.
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium Deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or Deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium Deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its Deficit.
Emotional stress triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium Deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
A toxic by-product of industrial waste.
April 21, 2006 04:34 PM
Imagine a government permitting industry to dump toxic waste products into the drinking water supply, denying the public the right to make an informed choice by censoring the press and dissenting experts. Meanwhile, influential leaders disseminate misinformation and hoodwinked people demand community acess to the dangerous chemical.
Although it might seem like science fiction, this scenario has been playing in America since 1940’s. the toxic chemical? Fluoride. Today, 170 million Americans, approximately two thirds of the population, have fluoridated drinking water issuing from their taps.
A 1998 Gallup poll showed that the majority of Americans—a whopping 70% --support water fluoridation. Dissenters are seen as crackpots and conspiracy theorists.
EPA Unions Call for a Moratorium
In august 2005, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions under the umbrella of NTEU Chapter 280, primarily scientists, researchers, doctors, submitted a request to Congress for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation, based on scientific evidence that fluoride is a proven carcinogen.
Dr. William Hirzy, Vice President of Chapter 280, explains that the biggest misperceptions about fluoridated water are “that its safe and effective, that basically there are no adverse effects, and that it does this magic of lowering dental decay rates.”
A Profitable By-Product
Although the American Dental Association explains that fluoride is a naturally occurring compound, the form used in drinking water, hydrofluorosilicic acid is, in fact, a product of man.
Today’s fluoride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Air filtration vents, called “Wet-Scrubbers,” trap fluoride, which is a gaseous by-product of manufacturing. For many years, the gas was vented into the sky, where it caused lawsuits by farmers for burnt crops and sickened animals. Now, the fluoride is sold to American communities as well as developing countries, Dr. Hirzy calculates the fertilizer industry makes about 100 million a year from their toxic by-product.
Fluoride’s Tainted History
Fluoride’s effect upon teeth was first observed in children who were overexposed to ingested fluoride. Their teeth turned pitted and brown, a condition recognized as dental fluorosis. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride damages only the body’s tooth-forming cells, buy many scientists are concerned that other cells are damaged as well.
According to Phyllis Mullenix, Ph.D., a prominent toxicologist, animal research shows that fluoride crosses the blood-brain barrier, causing defects in the brain region devoted to memory and learning. In humans, the behavior evidenced in rats would qualify as motor dysfunction, Deficits or learning disabilities.
Is Fluoride Good for Poor People?
Many argue that fluoridation is needed by economically disadvantaged populations with inadequate access to dental care. In fact, these are the people at greatest risk from fluoride, which wreaks its most hazardous effects on those who are malnourished. Calcium Deficiency, in particular, is linked with fluorosis.
Is It Good For Anything?
Ironically, many dental authorities acknowledge that ingested fluoride has little to no effect on preventing cavities in the pits and fissures of the teeth, where most cavities occur. Many researchers acknowledge that only topical fluoride can stop cavities. The largest nation wide study, conducted in 1989 by the national institute of Dental Research, showed that children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities have approximately the same cavity rate.
Fluoridation and the Wellness Revolution
The Fluoridation controversy is another example of our health care system’s approach of throwing chemicals at problems, rather than solving them through improved public hygiene and better nutrition. In addition, calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help build strong teeth, while vitamin C is essential for healthy gums.
Source: www. Fluoridealert .org, www. Fluoridedebate .org, www. Nteu280 .org/issues/fluoride/fluoridesummary.htm
Nutritional Supplements Could Save U.S. $6.5 Billion.
January 07, 2006 12:26 PM
Health Care Crisis Bankrupting U.S. Budget
Nutritional Supplements Could Save U.S. $6.5 Billion.
You probably never heard about it on the radio, nor saw its actions reported on CNN. Others can’t guess what its acronym stands for. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an investigative arm of Congress examining the receipt and payment of public funds. This government office exists for the sole purpose of communicating to Congress those facts and figures which we, as a society, can’t afford to overlook.
And they are saying that the healthcare system is going to bankrupt us. The agency recently issued a special report called 21st Century Challenges, which concludes that current U.S. fiscal policies are unsustainable and, unless radical changes are initiated relatively soon, will “result in large, escalating, and persistent Deficits.
The Money Pit
According to the GAO report, the United States spends more than 15% of our gross domestic product on health care, and that figures growing fast. We spend a larger percentage than is spent by any other industrialized country. What’s even more suprising is how little we get for the money. An estimated 45million Americans are uninsured. The United States continues to compare abysmally to the other industrialized nations in critical areas like infant mortality, life expectancy, and premature and preventable deaths.
Medicare and Medicaid together devour 20% of the federal budget. With the baby boomers—individuals born between the end of WWII 1960—hitting retirement age this year, those figures will only grow larger with each passing year. Unless, as the GAO report says, something is done quickly.
A report released just weeks ago by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA) demonstrates that the government can save at least 6.5 billion in health care cost reductions if nutritional supplements are integerated into the healthcare system.
The Lewin Group, a market research firm, developed a report, entitled: Increasing Quality of Life While Minimizing Costs. It focused in on just two supplements, both of which concern reduction in disease prevention for people over age 65. Omega-3 oil, popular for its reduction in coronary heart disease, is projected to save 3.1 billion dollars. Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which supports healthy vision, will save 2.5 billion dollars if this supplement is added to health care plans, according to the study. Savings would come from reduced hospitalizations and doctor’s fees, as well as reduced nursing home use for those who in good health, could remain independent rather than needing to transfer to live-in care facilities.
Early last month, a bipartisan caucus on dietary supplements kicked off. It will be co-chaired by Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), and Rep. Fran Pallone (D-N.J.), and its goal will be to examine the manner in which nutritional supplements may become a component of healthcare reform, such as part of an individual flexible Spending Account or health Saving account. As the GAO report indicates, the government interest is reaching critical mass and nutritional supplements are on the verge of entering a new era. As Congressman Cannon said during a November 2nd press conference, government needs to develop a sound policy supporting nutritional supplements “As more and more Americans start taking responsibility for their own health.”
Sources/Links for Further Reading:
Visit the website of the United States Government Accountability Office. //www.gao.gov/
House Government Reform Subcommittee on Human Rights Wellness. //reform.house.gov/
For more information about the Lewin Group’s Health Impact Study, please visit: //www.supplementinfo.org/
October 06, 2005 10:08 PM
Magnesium is a dietary mineral with a wide array of biological activities in the body. Magnesium participates in numerous life-essential processes that occur both inside and outside cells. Magnesium Deficiency impacts normal physiologic function on many levels. Adequate magnesium is a fundamental requirement for optimum function of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and skeletal muscle, as well as the uterus and GI tract. Magnesium Deficiency can affect health of the heart, bones and blood vessels and alter blood sugar balance .
Magnesium–Important for Everyone, Deficient in Many The average person living in a modern country today very likely consumes less than the optimum amount of magnesium . An abundance of data collected over the last two decades shows a consistent pattern of low magnesium intake in the U.S. This pattern cuts a wide swath across various age-sex groups. The USDA’s Nationwide Food Consumption Survey found that a majority of Americans consumed less than the recommended daily magnesium intake . Twelve age-sex groups were studied and this low magnesium intake was true for all groups except 0 to 5 year olds.
An analysis of the nutrient content of the diets of 7,810 individuals age four and above included magnesium among several nutrients where the amounts supplied by the average diet "were not sufficient to meet recommended standards" . The FDA’s Total Diet study examined the intakes of eleven minerals, including magnesium, among eight age-sex groups. Data was collected four times yearly from 1982 to 1984. Levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper were low for most age-sex groups . Surveys conducted in Europe and in other parts of North America paint a similar picture. Loss of magnesium during food processing is one explanation for this global lack of adequate dietary magnesium .
In particular, the elderly may be susceptible to magnesium Deficiency for a variety of reasons, including inadequate magnesium intake, poor absorption due to impaired gastrointestinal function and use of drugs such as diuretics that deplete magnesium from the body . It has recently been theorized that magnesium Deficiency may contribute to accelerated aging, through effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as muscles and the kidneys .
Women who take both synthetic estrogen and calcium supplements may be at risk for low blood levels of magnesium . Estrogen promotes the transfer of magnesium from blood to soft–tissues. Low blood magnesium may result if the ratio of calcium to magnesium intake exceeds 4 to 1. Magnesium supplementation is thus advisable for women taking estrogen and calcium.
Young adults are not immune to magnesium Deficiency. The University of California’s Bogalusa Heart Study collected nutritional data from a cross-sectional sample of 504 young adults between age 19 and 28 . The reported intake of magnesium, along with several other minerals and vitamins, was below the RDA.
Glycine is a highly effective mineral chelator. This is because it is a low-molecular-weight amino acid, hence is easily transported across the intestinal membrane. A study conducted at Weber State University found this particular magnesium glycinate was absorbed up to four times more effectively than typical magnesium supplements.
Magnesium-the Versatile Mineral
The average adult body contains anywhere from about 21 to 28 grams of magnesium. Approximately 60 percent of the body’s magnesium supply is stored in bone. Soft tissue, such as skeletal muscle, contains 38%, leaving only about 1 to 2% of the total body magnesium content in blood plasma and red blood cells. Magnesium in the body may be bound either to proteins or "anions" (negatively charged substances.) About 55% of the body’s magnesium content is in the "ionic" form, which means it carries an electrical charge. Magnesium ions are "cations," ions that carry a positive charge. In its charged state, magnesium functions as one of the mineral "electrolytes."
Magnesium works as a "co-factor" for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Metabolism uses a phosphate containing molecule called "ATP" as its energy source. Magnesium is required for all reactions involving ATP . ATP supplies the energy for physical activity, by releasing energy stored in "phosphate bonds".
Skeletal and heart muscle use up large amounts of ATP. The energy for muscle contraction is released when one of ATP’s phosphate bonds is broken, in a reaction that produces ADP. Phosphate is added back to ADP, re-forming ATP. ATP also powers the cellular "calcium pump" which allows muscle cells to relax. Because it participates in these ATP-controlled processes, magnesium is vitally important for muscle contraction and relaxation. By controlling the flow of sodium, potassium and calcium in and out of cells, magnesium regulates the function of nerves as well as muscles .
Magnesium’s importance for heart health is widely recognized. The heart is the only muscle in the body that generates its own electrical impulses. Through its influence on the heart’s electrical conduction system, magnesium is essential for maintenance of a smooth, regular heartbeat . Magnesium appears to help the heart resist the effects of systemic stress. Magnesium Deficiency aggravates cardiac damage due to acute systemic stress (such as caused by infection or trauma), while magnesium supplementation protects the heart against stress . This has been found true even in the absence of an actual magnesium Deficit in the body.
Evidence suggests that magnesium may help support mineral bone density in elderly women. In a two-year open, controlled trial, 22 out of a group of 31 postmenopausal women who took daily magnesium supplements showed gains in bone density. A control group of 23 women who declined taking the supplements had decreases in bone density . The dietary intakes of magnesium, potassium, fruit and vegetables are associated with increased bone density in elderly women and men . In an interesting animal study, rats were fed diets with either high or low levels of magnesium. Compared to the high magnesium-fed rats, bone strength and magnesium content of bone decreased in the low-magnesium rats, even though these rats showed no visible signs of magnesium Deficiency . While this finding may or may not apply to humans, it raises the possibility that diets supplying low magnesium intakes may contribute to weakening of bone in the elderly.
Maximizing Absorption––Chelated Minerals Explained Mineral absorption occurs mainly in the small intestine. Like any mineral, magnesium may be absorbed as an "ion," a mineral in its elemental state that carries an electric charge. Mineral ions cross the intestinal membrane either through "active transport" by a protein carrier imbedded in the cells lining the membrane inner wall, or by simple diffusion. The magnesium in mineral salts is absorbed in ionic form. However, absorption of ionic minerals can be compromised by any number of factors, including: 1) Low solubility of the starting salt, which inhibits release of the mineral ion, and 2) Binding of the released ion to naturally occurring dietary factors such as phytates, fats and other minerals that form indigestible mineral complexes .
A second absorption mechanism has been discovered for minerals. Experiments have shown that minerals chemically bonded to amino acids (building blocks of protein) are absorbed differently from mineral ions. This has given rise to the introduction of "chelated" minerals as dietary supplements. Mineral amino acid chelates consist of a single atom of elemental mineral that is surrounded by two or more amino acid molecules in a stable, ring-like structure.
Unlike mineral salts, which must be digested by stomach acid before the desired mineral portion can be released and absorbed, mineral chelates are not broken down in the stomach or intestines. Instead, chelates cross the intestinal wall intact, carrying the mineral tightly bound and hidden within the amino acid ring. The mineral is then released into the bloodstream for use by the body. Research by pioneers in the field of mineral chelation and human nutrition indicates that the best-absorbed chelates consist of one mineral atom chelated with two amino acids. This form of chelate is called a "di-peptide." Compared to other chelates, di-peptides have the ideal chemical attributes for optimum absorption . Dipeptide chelates demonstrate superior absorption compared to mineral salts. For example, a magnesium di-peptide chelate was shown to be four times better absorbed than magnesium oxide .
Consumer Alert! Not all "amino acid chelates" are true chelates. In order for a mineral supplement to qualify as a genuine chelate, it must be carefully processed to ensure the mineral is chemically bonded to the amino acids in a stable molecule with the right characteristics. The magnesium bis-glycinate/lysinate in High Absorption Magnesium is a genuine di-peptide chelate ("bis" means "two"). It has a molecular weight of 324 daltons, considerably lower than the upper limit of 800 daltons stated in the definition of "mineral amino acid chelates" adopted by the National Nutritional Foods Association in 1996 .
Bioperine® For Enhanced Absorption Bioperine® is a natural extract derived from black pepper that increases nutrient absorption.* Preliminary trials on humans have shown significant increases in the absorption of nutrients consumed along with Bioperine® .
Scientific References 1. Abbott, L.R., R., Clinical manifestations of magnesium Deficiency. Miner electrolyte Metab, 1993. 19: p. 314-22. 2. Durlach, J., Recommended dietary amounts of magnesium: Mg RDA. Magnesium Research, 1989. 2(3): p. 195-202. 3. Morgan, K.e.a., Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1985. 4: p. 195-206. 4. Windham, C., Wyse, B., Hurst, R. Hansen, R., Consistency of nutrient consumption patterns in the United States. J AM Diet Assoc, 1981. 78(6): p. 587-95. 5. Pennington, J., Mineral content of foods and total diets: the Selected Minerals in Food Survey, 1982 to 1984. J AM Diet Assoc, 1986. 86(7): p. 876-91. 6. Marier, J., Magnesium Content of the Food Supply in the Modern- Day World. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 1-8. 7. Costello, R., Moser-Veillon, P., A review of magnesium intake in the elderly. A cause for concern? Magnesium Research, 1992. 5(1): p. 61-67. 8. Durlach, J., et al., Magnesium status and aging: An update. Magnesium Research, 1997. 11(1): p. 25-42. 9. Seelig, M., Increased need for magnesium with the use of combined oestrogen and calcium for osteoporosis treatment. Magnesium Research, 1990. 3(3): p. 197-215. 10. Zive, M., et al., Marginal vitamin and mineral intakes of young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Adolesc, 1996. 19(1): p. 39-47. 11. McLean, R., Magnesium and its therapeutic uses: A review. American Journal of Medicine, 1994. 96: p. 63-76. 12. Graber, T., Role of magnesium in health and disease. Comprehensive Therapy, 1987. 13(1): p. 29-35. 13. Sueta, C., Patterson, J., Adams, K., Antiarrhythmic action of pharmacological administration of magnesium in heart failure: A critical review of new data. Magnesium Research, 1995. 8(4): p. 389- 401. 14. Classen, H.-G., Systemic stress, magnesium status and cardiovascular damage. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 105-110. 15. Stendig-Lindberg, G., Tepper, R., Leichter, I., Trabecular bone density in a two year controlled trial of peroral magnesium in osteoporosis. Magnesium Research, 1993. 6(2): p. 155-63. 16. Tucker, K., et al., Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr, 1999. 69(4): p. 727-736. 17. Heroux, O., Peter, D., Tanner, A., Effect of a chronic suboptimal intake of magnesium on magnesium and calcium content of bone and bone strength of the rat. Can J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 1975. 53: p. 304-310. 18. Pineda, O., Ashmead, H.D., Effectiveness of treatment of ironDeficiency anemia in infants and young children with ferrous bisglycinate chelate. Nutrition, 2001. 17: p. 381-84. 19. Adibi, A., Intestinal transport of dipetides in man: Relative importance of hydrolysis and intact absorption. J Clin Invest, 1971. 50: p. 2266-75. 20. Ashmead, H.D., Graff, D., Ashmead, H., Intestinal Absorption of Metal Ions and Chelates. 1985, Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 21. NNFA definition of mineral amino acid chlelates, in NNFA Today. 1996. p. 15. 22. Bioperine-Nature's Bioavailability Enhancing Thermonutrient. 1996, Sabinsa Corporation: Piscataway, N.J.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Doctor's Best•1120 Calle Cordillera•Suite 101, San Clemente, CA 92673
HAWAIIAN NONI (Morinda citrifolia)
July 11, 2005 08:50 PM
In a time when we are more concerned than ever with issues of health, a tried and true tropical herb called noni needs t o be added t o our list of the best natural remedies. It susage over hundreds of years supports it s description as a veritable panacea of therapeutic actions. At this writing, noni continues to accrue impressive medicinal credentials, and its emergence as an effective nat ural healing agent is a timely one. Amidst rising cancer rates, the high incidence of degenerative diseases like diabetes, and the evolution of ant ibiotic resist ant bacteria and new viral strains, herbs like noni are sought after for their natural pharmaceutical properties. Unquest ionably, all of us want to know how to:
Indian Mulberry (India), Noni (Hawaii), Nono (Tahiti and Raratonga), Polynesian Bush Fruit, Painkiller Tree (Caribbean islands), Lada (Guam), Mengkudo (Malaysia), Nhau (Southeast Asia), Grand Morinda (Vietnam), Cheesefruit (Australia), Kura (Fiji), Bumbo (Africa) Note: This is only a small sampling of vernacular names for Morinda citrifolia. Almost every island nation of the South Pacific and Caribbean has a term for this particular plant . This booklet will refer to the herb mainly as “ noni” or M. citrifolia, and is referring primarily to Hawaiin noni.
The parts of the noni plant most used for their medicinal and nutritional purposes are the fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers. Virtually every part of the noni plant is utilized for its individual medicinal properties; however, it is the fruit portion that is regarded as its most valuable. The seeds have a purgative action, the leaves are used to treat external inflammations and relieve pain, the bark has strong astringent properties and can treat malaria, the root extracts lower blood pressure, the flower essences relieve eye inflammations and the f ruit has a number of medicinal actions.
Morinda citrifolia is technically an evergreen shrub or bush, which can grow to heights of fifteen to twenty feet . It has rigid, coarse branches which bear dark, oval, glossy leaves. Small white fragrant flowers bloom out of cluster-like pods which bear creamy-white colored fruit. The fruit is fleshy and gel-like when ripened, resembling a small breadf ruit . The flesh of the fruit is characterist ically bitter, and when completely ripe produces a rancid and very dist inctive odor. Noni has buoyant seeds that can float formont hs in ocean bodies. The wood of the inflammatory, astringent, emollient, emmenagogue, laxative, sedative, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) , blood purif ier, and tonic.
Noni has various chemical constituents. First, it has an impressive array of terpene compounds, three of which—L. Asperuloside, aucubin, and glucose— have been identified by their actyl derivatives. Both caproic and caprylic acids have been isolated.1 Second, bushfruits, a category of which noni fruit is a member, are also considered a good source of vit - amin C.2 Third, Hawaiin noni has been linked to the synthesis of xeronine in the body which has significant and widespread health implications. Last , the alkaloid cont ent of the noni fruit is thought to be responsible for its therapeutic actions. Alkaloids exhibit a wide range of pharmacological and biological act ivitiesin the human body. They are nitrogencontaining organic compounds which can react with acids to form salts and which are the basis of many medicines. The following is an in-depth chemical analysis of each plant part and it s chemical constituents.
discovered an alkaloid in the Hawaiin noni fruit which he calls proxeronine and which he believes has appreciable physiological actions by acting as a precursor to xeronine, a very crucial compound (see later sections) . In addition, a compound found in the fruit called damnacanthol is believed to help inhibit cert ain viruses and cellular mutations involved in cancer.
ROOT AND ROOT BARK
Recent surveys have suggested that noni fruit exerts antibiotic action. In fact, a variety of compounds which have antibacterial properties (such as aucubin) have been identified in the fruit.5 The 6-Dglucopyranose pentaacet ate of the fruit extract is not considered bacteriostatic.6 Constituents found in the fruit portion have exhibited ant imicrobial action against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi (and other types) , Shigella paradysenteriae, and Staphylococcus aureaus. Compounds found in the root have the ability to reduce swollen mucous membrane and lower blood pressure in animal studies. Proxeronine is an alkaloid constituent found in Hawaiin noni fruit which may prompt the production of xeronine in the body. It is considered a xeronine precursor and was discovered in noni fruit by Dr. Ralph M. Heinicke. He has theorized that this proenzyme can be effective in initiating a series of beneficial cellular reactions through its involvement with the integrity of specific proteins. He points out that tissues contain cells which possess certain recept or sites for xeronine. Because the reactions that can occur are so varied, many different therapeutic actions can result when xeronine production escalates, explaining why Hawaiin noni is good for so many seemingly unrelated disorders. Damnacanthol is another compound contained in the fruit of the Hawaiin noni plant which has shown the ability to block or inhibit the cellular function of RAS cells, considered pre-cancerous cells.
Body Systems Targeted
The following body systems have all been effec-freeze-dried capsules, dehydrated powder or fruit, and oil. Noni plant constituents are sometimes offered in combination with other herbs. Some products contain a percent age of the fruit, bark, root and seeds for their individual therapeutic properties.
Extracts of M. citrifolia are considered safe if used as directed; however, pregnant or nursing mothers should consult their physicians before taking any supplement . High doses of root extracts may cause constipation. Taking noni supplements with coffee, alcohol or nicotine is not recommended.
Ideally, noni extracts should be taken on an empty stomach prior to meals. The process of digesting food can interfere with the medicinal value of the alkaloid compounds found in Hawaiin noni, especially in its fruit . Apparently, stomach acids and enzymes destroy the specific enzyme which frees up the xeronine compound. Take noni supplements without food, coffee, nicotine or alcohol. Using supplements that have been made from the semi-ripe or light - green fruit is also considered preferable to the ripe, whit ish fruit .
NONI: ITS USE AND HISTORY
Noni is a tropical wandering plant indigenous to areas of Australia, Malaysia and Polynesia. It is considered native to Southeast Asia although it grows from India to the eastern region of Polynesia. Morinda citrifolia has a long history of medicinal use throughout these areas. It is thought to be the “most widely and commonly used medicinal plant prior to the European era.” 7 Centuries ago, the bushfruit was introduced to native Hawaiians, who subsequently called it “noni” and considered its fruit and root as prized medicinal agents. Among all Polynesian botanical agents of the 19th and 20th centuries, Hawaiin noni has the widest array of medical applications. Samoan and Hawaiian medical practitioners used noni for bowel disorders (especially infant diarrhea, constipation, or intestinal parasites) , indigestion, skin inflammation, infection, mouth sores, fever, contusions and sprains. Hawaiians commonly prepared noni tonics designed to treat diabetes, stings, burns and fish poisoning.8 The herb’s remarkable ability to purge the intestinal tract and promote colon health was well known among older Hawaiian and Tahitian natives and folk healers. Interestingly, field observations regarding its repu-remarkable healing agent .
Wonder Herb of Island Folk Healers
Common to t he thickets and forests of Malaysia and Polynesia, and the low hilly regions of the Philippine islands, noni has been cultivated throughout communities in the South Pacific for hundreds of years. Its Hawaiian use is thought to originate from inter-island canoe travel and settlement dating to before Christ . Its hardy seeds have the ability to float which has also contributed to its distribution among various seacoasts in the South Pacific region. Historical investigation has established the fact that some of Hawaii’s earliest settlers probably came viaTahiti. For this reason, Tahitian herbal practices have specific bearing on the herbal therapeutics of islands to the nort h. The very obvious similarities between the Hawaiian vernacular for herbal plants like noni and Tahitian names strongly suggests the theory of Polynesian migrations to Hawaii. Cultures native to these regions favored using Morinda citrifolia for treating major diseases and ut ilized it as a source of nourishment in times of famine.9 Noni fruit has been recognized for centuries as an excellent source of nutrition. The peoples of Fiji, Samoa and Rarat onga use the fruit in both its raw and cooked forms.10 Traditionally, the fruit was propicked before it was fully ripe and placed in the sunlight . After being allowed to ripen, it was typically mashed and its juice extracted through a cloth. Noni leaves provided a veget able dish and their resiliency made them desirable as a fish wrap for cooking.
Noni’s Medical Reputation
Elaborate traditionalrituals and praying rites usually accompanied the administration of noni. Int erestingly, cultures indigenous to the Polynesian islands had a significant understanding of their flora. For example, native Hawaiians maint ained a folkmedicine taxonomy t hat was considered second to none.11 Noni was not only used for medicinal purposes but for its food value, for clot hing and for cloth dyes as well. Research indicates that noni was among the few herbal remedies that islanders considered “ tried and true.” In Hawaii, trained herbal practitioners reserved the right to prescribe plant therapies.12 Records indicate that Hawaiian medical practices were based on extensive and very meticulous descriptions of symptoms and their prescribed herbal treatments. Dosages were controlled and the collection and administration of plant extracts was carefully monitored.13 In addition to Morinda, it was not uncommon for these herbal doctors to also recommend using In regard to its application for common ailments, Hawaiians and other island communities traditionally prescribed noni to purge the bowel, reduce fever, cure respiratory infections such as asthma, ease skin inflammations, and heal bruises and sprains. In other words, noni was widely used and highly regarded as a botanical medicine.
A Timely Reemer gence
Today, the natural pharmaceutical actions of the chemical constituents contained in noni are scientif-ically emerging as valuable bot anical medicines. Tahitian “nono” intrigued medical practitioners decades ago; however, due to the eventual emergence of synthetic drugs, interest in this island botanical diminished until recent years. Ethnobot anists are once again rediscovering why Hawaiian people havet reasured and cultivat ed Morinda citrifolia for generations. Noni is now finding its way into western therapeutics and is referred to as “ the queen” of the genus Rubiaceae. Its ability to reduce joint inflammation and target the immune system have made it the focus of the modern scientific inquiry. Dr. Ralph Heinicke has conducted some fascinating studies on the chemical constituents of the Hawaiin noni fruit. His research centers on the proxeronine content of the fruit juice and how it profoundly influences human physiology. In addition, scientific studies investigating noni as an anti-cancer agent have been encouraging. It s conspicuous attributes and varied uses have elevat edits status to one of the best of the healing herbs. Today Morinda citrifolia is available in liquid, juice, freezedried capsules, or oil forms, and is considered one of nature’s most precious botanicals.
TRADITIONAL USES OF NONI
Throughout tropical regions, virtually every part of Morinda citrifolia was used to treat disease or injury. Its curative properties were well known and commonly employed. PatoaTama Benioni, a member of the Maoritribe from the Cook Islands and a lecturer on island plants explains: Traditionally Polynesians use noni for basically everything in the treatment of illness. Noni is a part of our lives. Any Polynesian boy will tell you he’s had exper ience with it . We use juice from its roots, its flowers, and its fruit... my grandmother taught me to use noni from the roots and the leaves to make medicine for external as well as internal use, and for all kinds of ailments, such as coughs, boils, diseases of the skin, and cuts.15
decoctions to stimulate delayed menst ruation.
XERONINE: THE SECRET OF NONI?
One informed professional on the subject of noni is Dr. Ralph Heinicke, a biochemist who has researched the active compounds of noni fruit for a number of years. He discovered that the Hawaiin noni fruit contains an alkaloid precursor to a very vital compound called xeronine. Wit hout xeronine, life would cease. In Dr. Heinicke’s view, noni fruit provides a safe and effective way to increase xeronine levels, which exert a crucial influence on cell health and protction. His research suggests that the juice from the M. citrifolia fruit contains what could technically be considered a precursor of xeronine—proxeronine. This compound initiates the release of xeronine in the intestinal tract after it comes in contact with a specific enzyme which is also contained in the fruit .
Because proteins and enzymes have so many varied roles within cell processes, the normalization of these proteins with noni supplemenation could initiate avery wide variety of body responses and treat many disease condit ions. Proteins are the most important catalysts found in the body. The beauty of obtaining a precursor to xeronine from the noni fruit is that the body naturally decides how much of this precursor to convert to xeronine. Disease, stress, anger, trauma and injury can lower xeronine levels in the body, thus creat ing a xeronine Deficit . Supplementing the body with noni fruit is considered an excellent way to safely and naturally raise xeronine levels. It is the research and theories of Dr. Heinicke which have made the juice of the Hawaiin noni fruit a viable medicinal substance. He writes: Xeronine is analkaloid, a substance the body produces in order to activate enzymes so they can function properly. It also energizes and regulates the body. This par-ticular alkaloid has never been found because the body makes it, immediately uses it, and then breaks it down. At no time is there an appreciable, isolable amount in the blood. But xeronine is so basic to the functioning of proteins, we would die without it . Its absence can cause many kinds of illness.17 Because so many diseases result from an enzyme malfunction, Dr. Heinicke believes that using the noni fruit can result in an impressive array of curative applications. Interestingly, he believes that we manufacture proxeronine while we are sleeping. He proposes t hat if we could constantly supply our bodies wit h proxeronine from other sources, our need to sleep would diminish.18
How an herb is processed is crucial to how beneficial it is: this is especially true of noni, with its unique enzymes and alkaloids. Morinda citrifolia should be picked when the fruit is turning from its dark green immature color to its lighter green color, and certainly before it ripens to its white, almost translucent color. Once picked, noni, like aloe, will denature extremely quickly due to its very active enzymes. After harvesting, it should swiftly be flash frozen. This is similar to what is done to fish caught at sea to keep them f esh. This stops it from losing its potency while not damaging any of its constituents. To process noni, freeze-drying is recommended. This removes only the water without damaging any of this miracle plant’s vital enzymes and other phytonutrients like xeronine and proxeronine. This pure high-quality noni fruit juice powder is then encapsu-has a very harsh taste and an extremely foul smell, similar to the fruit it self . Other methods of processing include thermal processing, dehydrat ion and air drying. Thermal processing is generally found in liquids, while the dehydrat ed noni is then milled and encapsulated. Unfortunately both methods utilize high heat (110+°F) , which can deactivate many of the vital compounds that make noni so import ant . Air-drying is effect ive without using damaging heat but has serious quality control problems for commercial production.
MODERN APPLICATIONS OF NONI
Noni possesses a wide variety of medicinal properties which originat e from its differing plant component s. The fruit and leaves of the shrub exert antibacterial activities. Its roots promote the expulsion of mucus and the shrinkage of swollen membranes making it an ideal therapeutic for nasal congest ion, lung infect ions, and hemorrhoids. Noni root compounds have also shown natural sedative properties as well as the ability to lower blood pressure.
Leaf extracts are able to inhibit excessive blood flow or to inhibit the formation of blood clots. Noni is particularly useful for its ability to treat painful joint conditions and to resolve skin inflammations. Many people drink noni fruit extracts in juice form for hypert ension, painful menstruation, arthritis, gastric ulcers, diabetes, and depression. Recent studies suggest that its anticancer activit y should also be considered. Concerning the therapeutic potential of the Hawaiin noni fruit, Dr. Heinicke writes: I have seen the compound found in noni work wonders. When I was still investigating its possibilities, I had a friend who was a medical research scientist administer the proxeronine to a woman who had been comatose for three months. Two hour safter receiving the compound, she sat up in bed and asked where she was. . . . Noni is probably the best source of proxeronine that we have today.19 Studies and surveys combined support the ability of noni to act as an immunost imulant, inhibit the growth of certain tumors, enhance and normalize cellular function and boost tissue regeneration. It is considered a powerful blood purifier and contributor to overall homeostasis.
xeronine, which appears to be able to regulate the shape and integrity of cert in proteins that individually contribute to specific cellular activities. Interestingly, this effect seems to occur after ingestion, inferring that the most active compound of noni may not be present in uneaten forms of the fruit or other plant parts. Some practitioners believe that xeronine is best obtained from a noni fruit juice precursor compound. The enzymatic reactions that occur with taking the juice on an empty stomach are what Dr. Heinicke believes set cellular repair intomotion.
A study conducted in 1994 cited the anticancer activity of Morinda citrifolia against lung cancer. A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii used live laboratory mice to test the medicinal properties of the fruit against Lewis lung carcinomas which were artificially transferred to lung tissue. The mice that were left untreated died in nine to twelve days. However, giving noni juice in consistent daily doses significantly prolonged their life span. Almost half of these mice lived for more than fifty days.20 Research conclusions state that the chemical constituents of the juice acted indirectly by enhancing the ability of the immune system to deal with the invading malig-nancy by boosting macrophage or lymphocyte activit y. Furt her evaluation theorizes that the unique chemical constituents of Morinda citrifolia initiate enhanced T-cell activity, a reaction that may explain noni’s ability to treat a variety of infectious diseases. 21
In Japan, similar studies on tropical plant extracts found that damnacanthol, a compound found in Morinda citrifolia, is able to inhibit the function of KRAS- NRK cells, which are considered precursors to certain types of malignancies.22 The experiment involved adding noni plant extract to RAS cells and incubating them for a number of days. Observation disclosed that noni was able to significantly inhibit RAS cellular function. Among 500 plant extracts, Morinda citrifolia was determined to contain the most effective compounds against RAS cells. Its damnacanthol content was clinically described in 1993 as “a new inhibit or of RAS function.” 2 3 The xeronine fact or is also involved in that xeronine helps to normalize the way malignant cells behave. While they are still technically cancer cells, they no longer function as cells with unchecked growth. In time, the body’s immune system may be able to eradicate these cells.
with arthritic disease. One link to arthritic pain may be the inability to properly or completely digest proteins which can then form crystal-like deposits in the joints. The ability of noni fruit to enhance protein digestion through enhanced enzymatic function may help to eliminate this particular phenomenon. In addition, the alkaloid compounds and plant met abolites of noni may be linked to its apparent anti-inflammatory action. Plant sterols can assist in inhibiting the inflammatory response which causes swelling and pain. In addition, the antioxidant effect of noni may help to decrease free radical damage in joint cells, which can exacerbate discomfort and degeneration.
The alkaloid and other chemical compounds found in noni have proven themselves to effectively control or kill over six types of infectious bacterial strains including: Escherichia coli, salmonellatyphi (and other types) , shigella paradysenteriae, and staphylo - coccus aureaus.25 In addition, damnacanthol, was able to inhibitt he early antigen stage of the Epstein- Barr virus.
The bioactive components of the whole plant, combined or in separate portions, have demonst rat - ed the ability to inhibit several different strains of bacteria. Anecdotal reports support this action in that noni seems particularly effective in shortening the duration of certain types of infection. This may explain why noni is commonly used to treat colds and flu. The chemical constituents found in noni and the possibility that they stimulate xeronine production— as well as initiate alkaloid therapy—may explain noni’s reputation for having immuno-stimulatory properties. Alkaloids have been able to boost phagocytosis which is the process in which certain white blood cells called macrophages attack and literally digest infectious organisms. Interestingly, the ant it umoraction of noni has been ascribed to an immune system response which involves stimulating T-cells. tropical regions during World War II learned of the fruit’s ability to boost endurance and stamina. Native cultures in Samoa, Tahiti, Raratonga and Australia used the fruit in cooked and raw forms. M. citrifolia is considered a tonic and is especially recommended for debilitated conditions.
The process of aging bombards the body with free radicals which can cause all kinds of degenerative diseases. The xeronine theory promoted by Dr. Heinicke submit s t hat as our bodies age, we lose our ability to synthesize xeronine. To make matters worse, the presence of many environment altoxins actually blocks the production of xeronine as well. He believes that the proxeronine content of Hawaiin noni fruit juice can help to block these actions, thereby working as an antiaging compound.26 The phytonutrients found in noni assist in promot - ing cell nourishment and prot ect ion from free radicals created by exposure to pollution and other potentially damaging agents. In addition, Morinda citrifolia contains selenium, which is considered one of the best antioxidant compounds available.
While scientific studies are lacking in this particular application of noni, Hawaiians used various parts of the plant and its fruit to treat blood sugar disorders. Anecdotal surveys have found t hat noni is current ly recommended for anyone with diabetes.
A 1990 study found that extracts derived from the Morinda citrifolia root have the ability to kill pain in animal experiments.27 Interest ingly, it was during this study that the natural sedative action of the root was also noted. This study involved a French team of scientists who noted a significant central analgesic activity in laboratory mice.28 Dr. Heinicke has stated, “Xeronine also acts as a pain reliever. A man wit h very advanced int est inal cancer was given three months to live. He began taking the proxeronine and lived for a whole year, pain-free.” 29
Skin Healing Agent
One of the most prevalent hist rical uses of noni was in poultice form for cuts, wounds, abrasions, burns and bruises. Using its fruit extract for very serious burns has resulted in some extraordinary healing. Because skin is comprised of protein, it immediately responds to the presence of xeronine.
burn site throught he direct application of a noni poultice is considered quite effective by Dr. Heinicke and his colleagues, who have studied enzymatic therapy. Concerning burns, he has written: I believe that each tissue has cells which contain proteins which have receptor sites for the absorption of xeronine. Certain of these proteins are the inert for ms of enzymes which require absorbed xeronine to become active. This xeronine, by converting the body’s procol- langenase system into a specific protease, quickly and safely removes the dead tissue from burns.30
The xeronine link to treat ing drug addiction is based on the notion that flooding t he brain with extra xeronine can reverse the neurochemical basis for addiction. This natural alkaloid is thought to normalize brain receptors which subsequent ly results in the cessation of physiological dependence on a certain chemical like nicotine.3 1 The potential of Hawaiin noni as a natural stimulat or for t he production of xeronine may have profound implications in treating various types of addictions.
Complementary Agents of Noni
PrimaryApplications of Noni
Energize Your Life!
June 14, 2005 05:06 PM
Energize Your Life!
by Laura Weiss Energy Times, December 1, 2003
If every fatigued day leaves you wondering where your energy went, you need a personal energy makeover.
"Energy, some special kind of energy, just leaks out and I am left lacking the confidence even to cross the street," Diane Arbus, the photographer, once complained. And while Ms. Arbus tried to overcome her energetic and spiritual ups and downs with her art, you can use lifestyle changes as well as self-expression to revive your vigor.
To Sleep, Perchance to Energize
When you're looking for a boost in personal energy, you've got to get enough sleep, insists Jacob Tietelbaum, MD, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery). Dr. Teitelbaum emphasizes that unless you "give your body eight to nine hours of sleep per night," your personal energy will never be adequate.
Studies show that getting less than six hours sleep a night hurts your mental performance and drains your energy (Sleep 3/15/03). As your sleep debt builds up, your energy drops down.
"[Our studies show] the importance of sleep as a necessity for health and well-being. Even relatively moderate sleep restriction, if it is sustained night after night, can seriously impair our neurobiological functioning," says Hans P.A. Van Dongen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sleep and Chronobiology at Penn State.
A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that Americans, on average, are getting less than seven hours of shuteye a night. That sleep Deficit drains energy.
Watered Down Energy
Added to that sleep requirement, Dr. Teitelbaum stressed in an interview with Energy Times, a lack of water can deplete your personal energy.
"The number one problem is often dehydration," he says. "Make sure you stay hydrated. Although I think it's a bad idea to [obsessively] count glasses of water, you should carry a bottle of water with you, check your lips and if they feel dry drink more water." Overall, your body is about 60% water and 70% of your muscles consist of water. If you let your water levels dip too low, your muscles suffer and your energy levels dip as well. Research shows that as your body dries out, your mental processes can slow down. And the hotter the temperature, the more fluid you may lose (AIHAJ 2002; 63(2):190-8).
B Vitamins for Energy
Also important for keeping your energy up "is getting enough of the B vitamins and magnesium." And even though Dr. Teitelbaum advocates the necessity of a well-rounded multiple vitamin and mineral supplement plus an adequate diet and amino acids to get all the nutrients you need, he recommends "taking a high-level B complex. The RDAs (the government's Recommended Daily Amounts) are inadequate."
In the body, B vitamins are used for the production of energy on a cellular level. For instance, vitamin B1 (thiamine) is crucial for burning carbohydrates effectively. And vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is necessary for the body's ability to properly use B1. At the same time, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is required for proper nerve function. The need for B12 may necessitate a supplement: Up to 30% of everyone over the age of 50 may have trouble absorbing B12 from their food (Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 1996; 33:247). Plus, since vegetables contain very little absorbable B12, vegetarians of all ages may also require B12 supplements.
Dr. Teitelbaum also believes that taking malic acid, a nutrient derived from apples, can help. Along with the B vitamins, malic acid is used by the body in the production of energy. When taken with magnesium, malic acid has been shown to ease the pain of fibromyalgia (J Rheum 1995; 22(5):953-7), a condition characterized by fatigue and lack of energy accompanied by painful muscles and joints.
Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) represents a potential tool for controlling blood sugar and improving stamina.
According to Dr. Teitelbaum, "...Asian ginseng enhances energy, raises blood pressure and improves adrenal function...Asian ginseng has such a wide mix of health benefits that its name, Panax, comes from the Greek roots of pan (meaning 'all') and akos (meaning 'cure')-that is, 'cure all.'"
Research on people with diabetes shows that this herb may help control blood sugar levels. People who suffer what is called type 2 diabetes often eat small meals to keep their blood sugar from varying too much. (Rising and falling blood sugar can drain you of energy as well as make diabetic problems worse.)
An investigation of how another form of ginseng, American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), affects blood sugar after eating found that it tempered changes by up to 20% (Arch of Internal Med 4/00). These scientists found that folks with diabetes did best when they took the herb within two hours of a meal.
Ready to re-energize? Time to stop skimping on sleep and rushing through inadequate meals. For all of us, slowing down and giving our bodies a chance to regenerate its zip can make the big energy difference.
Improove Memory ...
June 09, 2005 05:49 PM
Mesmerizing Memory by Cal Orey Energy Times, January 1, 1999
In the 60s, the same rock 'n' rollers who belted out "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small," often espoused the belief that certain pills could expand the mind. While counter-culture pill purveyors were pilloried for their pill-popping claims, 90s nutritional research has uncovered a stash of supplements that may amplify mental improvement.
Like a blues singer bending a high note, researchers are now humming with dramatic assertions that certain nutritional supplements can sustain and enhance concentration and memory function. For instance, studies reveal possible benefits for cognitive powers from vitamin C, magnesium and Ginkgo biloba. A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 278:1327-1332) said that an extract of Ginkgo biloba "can stabilize and, in some cases, improve the cognitive function and social behavior of demented patients."
A researcher in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences noted that a daily dose of vitamin E may "help protect the brain and its memories from the ravages of time." And the beat goes on: other evidence indicates that zinc, iron and boron may pump up short-term memory attention span and cut the time it takes to perform mental tasks.
Lester Packer, PhD, professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, told a joint 1996 United Nations-World Health Organization conference on Aging that "there is a growing body of evidence indicating that the free radical theory of aging and aging-related disease is valid," and that dietary and supplemental antioxidants can help fight illness and mental deterioration.
Vitamin E and other memory aids are believed to protect brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, "the ferrymen of the brain's communication system," that influence concentration and memory. Experts say that sustaining the level of these nerve chemicals in the brain can potentially improve all mental processes.
Too much alcohol, for example, commonly causes progressive mental decline, according to Secrets of the Superyoung (Villard) by David Weeks and Jamie James. The authors also point out that "the memory tends to worsen noticeably after 15 years of alcohol drinking, and much sooner in people who go on massive binges."
"The effects of cigarette smoke are subtler because the poisonous effects of carbon monoxide in each puff are temporarily offset by the alerting effects of the nicotine," they add. Can't remember the name of that singer cavorting in a music video? Tests have shown that smokers are worse at connecting peoples' names to their faces than nonsmokers.
n Learn something new: A second language, musical instrument, or unique puzzles and games keep neurons working like new.
n Turn off the TV: Read. Studies show that passively watching TV requires less concentration than eating cereal. Mental rejuvenation also requires physical activity. Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain, which supports memory, concentration and cognition. One study has shown that exercise significantly brightened the moods of middle-aged and older women, regardless of whether they were pre- or post-menopausal, with or without hormone replacement therapy.
Supplemental Brain Help
Antioxidants, including the previously mentioned vitamin E (You haven't forgotten vitamin E already, have you?), provide crucial help for vigorous cerebral function. The free radicals created by tobacco smoke, air pollution, ultraviolet light and certain carcinogenic chemicals deconstruct cell membranes and may foster microscopic brain cell havoc. Antioxidant enzymes convert free radicals to more neutral, benign substances and nutritional antioxidants can neutralize free radicals by linking up with them.
Vitamin C, a brainy antioxidant all star, performs so well that, according to Dr. Khalsa, its levels in the brain are almost 15 times higher than in other parts of the body. This nutrient, he asserts, aids mental and physical longevity. In a UCLA study, people who ingested at least 300 mg of vitamin C daily lived more than six years longer than those who ingested less.
Added to this mix, magnesium also scavenges free-radicals, according to Dr. Khalsa. Plus, experts recommend grape seed extract (phytochemicals that protect a wide range of cellular structures) to safeguard nerve cells and mental capacity.
B Vitamins for the Mind
Boron plays a crucial part in mental function. Scientists at the USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center have linked boron Deficiencies to chronic lethargy and fatigue. In brain studies, they found that the electrical activity of the gray matter in the boron Deficient indicated increased drowsiness and mental sluggishness.
HupA basically protects the brain from free radical damage (due to low levels of antioxidant defenses) and maintains or enhances crucial neurotransmitter action. More specifically, HupA helps reduce the breakdown of acetylcholine, the vital neurotransmitter, and makes this substance more bioavailable. In addition, HupA helps make choline accessible to the brain for the synthesis of acetylcholine, according to a study in Neuropharmacology (30, 1991: 763-768).
Normally, the brain manufactures sufficient levels of the chemical phosphatidylserine, a lecithin-derivative that helps boost neurotransmitter release, but Deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid, or of essential fatty acids, may retard that production. Low levels of phosphatidylserine in the brain are related to impaired mental function and depression in the elderly. Scientists reporting in Aging (5, 1993; 123-33) describe "good results" using phosphatidylserine in the treatment of age-related cognitive ills.
Ginkgo Brain Power
Another ingredient in what seems like an alphabet-soup of brain nourishment is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fat essential for normal brain function. Researchers met recently at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center's Nutrition Information Center to discuss "Keeping Your Brain in Shape: New Insights into DHA." Their findings revealed links between low levels of DHA and Alzheimer's, depression, memory loss, attention-Deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain behavioral traits including aggression and hostility.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health point out, however, that fish is an excellent dietary source of DHA. In their studies, they discovered that depression rates in Japan and Taiwan, where fish ranks a top spot on the menu, are significantly lower than in North America and Europe.
DHA also is crucial to the neurological development of children, according to findings published in Pediatrics (vol. 101, no. 1, January 1998). Researchers suggest that DHA-rich breast milk should be the model for infant formulas that enhance babies' neurological development. Scientists also have correlated some behavioral problems in children-ADHD, for example-to DHA Deficiencies.
If you are a vegetarian, or have other cause for concern about a potential lack of DHA in your diet, you can rely on dietary supplementation of DHA. Bruce J. Holub, PhD, of the University of Guelph in Canada provided vegetarians in his research project with DHA supplements over a 42-day period and substantially increased their DHA blood levels.
The bottom line to enhanced mental performance is to take a balanced approach, says Robert Snider, MD, who specializes in preventive medicine in Massena, New York. "Maintaining brain power includes exercise, stress reduction and good nutrition." The message to keep in mind: Don't lose your nutritional balance or you could lose a piece of your peace of mind.
Recommended Reading: & Brain Builders (Reward Books, 1995), by Richard Leviton.
Brain Longevity (Warner Books, 1997), by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD.
Omega 3 Oils to Improve Mental Health, Fight Degenerative Diseases and Extend Life (Avery, 1996), by Donald Rudin, MD, and Clara Felix.
Successful Aging (Pantheon, 1998), by John W. Rowe, MD, and Robert L. Kahn, PhD.